Devil Dish: In defense of Colin Kaepernick

As a lifelong Oakland Raiders fan, I can’t stand the San Francisco 49ers and their fanbase. But the swagger of quarterback Colin Kaepernick is starting to change my mind.

Kaepernick took some flak on Sunday when he, after a rushing touchdown, celebrated with opposing quarterback Cam Newton’s signature touchdown dance: the Superman.

The former second-rounder danced into the endzone and mocked Newton’s move while staring down Carolina Panthers fans.

In the GIF age, everyone in America had seen the celebration by sundown. Some in the media criticized the move for being too cocky.

Yes, the celebration verged on cocky. But at this point, can’t Kaepernick afford to be just a little cocky?

Kaepernick was in the process of going into Carolina — where the Panthers hadn’t lost since Week 1 against NFC Championship contender Seattle — and beating them by two scores, advancing to his their straight NFC Championship in two years as a starter.

Kaepernick certainly has a chip on his shoulder; Newton was selected first overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Kaepernick? He was selected 35 spots later, early in the second round.

So, for the same reason some might start to dislike the Niners, I’m gaining a bit more respect.

Kaepernick has faced significant adversity in his unlikely journey to the NFL, and now he’s finally succeeding at the highest level.

Why? Because just like in his Beats by Dre commercial, he “hears what he wants.”

Reach the columnist at or follow him on Twitter @BenMargiott

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