The CBS reporter who said Colin Kaepernick is prepared to stand for the national anthem if a team signs him now says he never talked to the unemployed quarterback about that hot-button issue.
Jason La Canfora, who talked to Kaepernick on Saturday, made the initial report Sunday on “The NFL Today” with James Brown, saying of Kaepernick, “He’s not planning on kneeling. He’s going to donate all his jersey sales, and he’s planning on standing for the anthem if given the opportunity.”
It didn’t take long for Kaepernick and those close to him to douse that claim.
First came a statement via Know Your Rights Campaign, a youth campaign fully funded by Kaepernick, on its Instagram account. The note, written by Kaepernick’s girlfriend Nessa Diab, read: “The reports that Colin will stand for the national anthem are completely false! He has never discussed this with anyone.”
Kaepernick retweeted the denial and then added his own tweet: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the world has a chance to get its pants on.” Kaepernick attributed the quote to Winston Churchill, although, as the Washington Post reported, scholars debate whether Churchill really said it.
Many news organizations, the Associated Press among them, published La Confora’s initial report and then retracted it. CBS, however, did not issue a retraction. La Confora did post a string of tweets saying he didn’t know what Kaepernick would do during the playing of the anthem because he didn’t ask him.
President Donald Trump turned the issue into a hotly political one two weeks ago when he said NFL owners should fire players who protest. La Confora’s initial report brought about snickering from high-profile conservatives like Sarah Palin and Fox News host Tom Lahren.