CBS sports reporter Jason La Canfora sparked outrage on Sunday when he falsely reported that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick would stand for the national anthem if signed to a team.
Last year Colin Kaepernick, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback, knelt during the national anthem at a game and created a controversy that has yet to blow over. The act of “taking a knee” was originally intended by Kaepernick to silently protest the systematic racial injustices in the United States, but critics claimed that the act was a disrespect of the American flag and military.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers at the end of the season, and has curiously remained an unsigned free agent. Most believe that his controversial protests are the reason that teams refuse to sign the quarterback.
La Confora was originally reporting on Kaepernick’s desire to work with NFL teams to get back in the game when he made an erroneous claim about whether or not the quarterback would continue to protest.
″He’s not planning on kneeling,” La Canfora said on “The NFL Today” on Sunday. “He’s going to donate all his jersey sales and he’s planning on standing for the anthem if given the opportunity, J.B.”
The Associated Press also reported the claims, based on La Confora’s supposed interview, and spread the news even further. Nessa Diab, Kaepernick’s girlfriend, tweeted a correction to the piece, calling the report completely false.
“The reports that Colin will stand for the anthem are completely false! He has never discussed this with anyone,” Diab wrote on Twitter.
Fans of the quarterback on social media were deeply angered by the mistake, calling the report a lie. After tremendous Twitter backlash, La Confora issued a clarification to his statements on air.
“Wanted to clarify one thing regarding
@Kaepernick7,” La Confora tweeted. “When I was asked about his [sic] whether or not he would sit or stand for anthem, standing for Anthem wasn’t something that I spoke to Colin about sat. I relayed what had been reported about him standing in the future.”
ESPN did report, using unnamed sources, that Kaepernick would stand in the 2017 season back in March. However, those claims were never confirmed and La Confora supposedly sat with Kaepernick for hours before Sunday’s segment on the quarterback’s future.
Kaepernick seemed to respond to the claims using a fake Winston Churchill quote on Twitter.
“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on, Winston S. Churchill,” Kapernick tweeted Sunday.
It’s unclear whether Kaepernick intended to misquote the former prime minister of the United Kingdom to further his point or whether it was a mistake.