Former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Roland Lakes passed away Monday at the age of 73.
Below is the copy from the press release the team sent out:
A Mississippi native, Smith played defensive tackle at Wichita State University, and was later drafted by the 49ers in the 2nd round of the 1961 NFL Draft.
Until 2010, Lakes had been the 49ers youngest starting lineman in team history, as he was 21 years, 11 months and 24 days old when he suited up in 1961. He went on to remain in San Francisco for 10 of his 11 NFL seasons.
Lakes appeared in all 140 games while with the 49ers and is a member of the teams 10-Year Club, a shrine representing longevity, success and consistency that honors members of the 49ers who served the franchise for at least a decade.
Lakes played one season with the New York Giants before retiring in 1971.
After retiring from football, Lakes worked as a consultant in San Pablo, CA. He was born in Vicksburg, MS, on December 25, 1939. Funeral arrangements are still pending.
NEW YORK — A former New York City police officer, whose claims of police corruption in the 1970s were chronicled in an Al Pacino movie, joined dozens of current and former officers Saturday at a rally in support of getting quarterback Colin Kaepernick a job in the National Football League.
The former San Francisco 49ers player became a controversial figure last year after he refused to stand for the national anthem in what he called a protest against oppression of people of color.
He opted out of his contract in March and became a free agent, but so far, no NFL teams have signed him for the upcoming season.
The gathering in Brooklyn featured about 75 mostly minority officers wearing black T-shirts reading "#imwithkap."
One exception was retired officer Frank Serpico, whose exploits were featured in the 1973 film, "Serpico."
He admitted not being a football fan, but said he felt it was important to support Kaepernick for his stance.
"He's trying to hold up this government up to our founding fathers," said the now 81-year-old Serpico.
Sgt. Edwin Raymond, who said he was heading to work after the rally, spoke of the need for racial healing in the country.
"Until racism in America is no longer taboo, we own up to it, we admit it, we understand it and then we do what we have to do to solve it, unfortunately we're going to have these issues," he said.
I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.
That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.
Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.
That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.
But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).
In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.