Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Former 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People on Thursday. 

Each person named to the list is represented by a sponsor who then writes on why they are worthy of the honor. For Kaepernick, his former coach Jim Harbaugh wrote on him. 

Harbaugh coached Kaepernick for four seasons from 2011-2014. The two reached the Super Bowl together in the 2012 season. 

Other sports figures named to the list include Conor McGregor, Theo Epstein, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, and Neymar.

Kaepernick made national headlines this past season for his decision to first sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a fight against social injustices. 

Below is what Harbaugh wrote on Kaepernick's influence: 

Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.

I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.

49ers reassign Kaepernick's No. 7 jersey

49ers reassign Kaepernick's No. 7 jersey

The 49ers have moved on from quarterback Colin Kaepernick to the point that his uniform number of the past six seasons was re-issued this week.

Matt Barkley, one of just two quarterbacks under contract to the 49ers, was assigned No. 7 as the team’s offseason program began this week in Santa Clara.

Kaepernick remains unsigned as a free agent. There have been no reports of teams with interest in signing Kaepernick, who last year had his best statistical season since 2013, his first full season as a starter.

The 49ers also re-assigned No. 94, which had not been worn since Justin Smith’s retirement at the end of the 2014 season. Newly signed linebacker Dekoda Watson will wear No. 94.

Running back Tim Hightower, who objected when he discovered he was issued No. 21, has a new number. He will assume No. 26, which became available late last week when the club release cornerback Tramaine Brock shortly after he was arrested in connection with an alleged domestic-violence incident.

Hightower was originally issed No. 21, which Frank Gore wore en route to becoming the 49ers' all-time leading rusher. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent in 2015.

New center/guard Jeremy Zuttah becomes No. 58, taking the number Eli Harold previously wore. Harold is now No. 57.

Free-agent acquisition Earl Mitchell is No. 90, which Glenn Dorsey wore during his four seasons with the organization. Dorsey remains unsigned as a free agent.

Here is the entire list of new uniform numbers, as first disclosed on 49ers.com:

2- QB Brian Hoyer
4- WR DeAndre Carter
7- QB Matt Barkley
11- WR Marquise Goodwin
15- WR Pierre Garçon
18- WR DeAndre Smelter
19- WR Aldrick Robinson
20- DB Don Jones
24- CB K’Waun Williams
26- RB Tim Hightower
44- FB Kyle Juszczyk
50- LB Brock Coyle
51- LB Malcolm Smith
57- Eli Harold
58- G/C Jeremy Zuttah
59- LB Jayson DiManche
81- WR Rashad Ross
82- TE Logan Paulsen
90- DT Earl Mitchell
94- LB Dekoda Watson
96- DL Zach Moore

Ex-teammates: Kaepernick should not be unemployed

Ex-teammates: Kaepernick should not be unemployed

SANTA CLARA – Quarterbacks T.J. Yates and Matt McGloin signed contracts Monday with Buffalo and Philadelphia, respectively.

Meanwhile, the 49ers opened their offseason program, and Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned. Two of his former teammates expressed surprise that Kaepernick remains unemployed.

“I’ve seen some quarterbacks who got signed that, in my opinion, Kap is way better than,” 49ers running back Carlos Hyde said. “But, you know, I’m not a GM. I’m not a head coach. So that’s out of my league.”

While some teams might not have been interested in Kaepernick for football teams, such as his style of play does not fit particular offenses, there are clearly other factors at play, too.

Kaepernick chose to kneel during the playing of the national anthem last season as a protest against racial inequality in America. His decision was controversial. Although he reportedly plans to stand during the national anthem this season, there is no guarantee he will ever get that chance from the sideline of another NFL game.

“I think he’s proven that he can play at this level,” 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. “He’s made a choice that’s kind of had a little backlash from it. But I think he’ll be fine. Someone will give him a job. He’s not like a bad guy or anything. So I think that’s what matters in the NFL, if you can play level and your character is great. So I wish him the best.”

Kaepernick was voted as the winner of the Len Eshmont Award last season as the 49ers’ most courageous and inspirational player.

He started the final 11 games of the season. His passer rating of 90.7 was his best mark since 2013, his first full season as a starter. Kaepernick threw 16 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He also rushed for 468 yards.

The 49ers have shown no interest in re-signing Kaepernick. Instead, the team opted to sign veterans Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley.