Colin Kaepernick

ESPN tells Colin Kaepernick’s legal story in a transparent, heavy-handed way (with photos)

ESPN Colin Kaepernick street clothes

Back on April 12, when Colin Kaepernick was supposedly going to get charged with sexual assault any minute (according to TMZ, anyway), ESPN made some interesting photographical choices when reporting the story. Most of you probably heard about this two months ago, but bear with me.

First, they used this photo of Kaepernick in “street clothes.” Check this guy out, looking guilty-as-sin with his hat turned backwards (and slightly sideways, too), ready to start a fight with any local columnist who gets in his way.

ESPN Colin Kaepernick street clothes photo

“It’s the thuggish ruggish boooooooone … it’s the thuggish ruggish booooooohhhooohhhoohhhoone …”

About a half hour later, the decision was made to change the photo to this one of Kaepernick pursing his lips and looking kind of angry while in uniform.

Colin Kaepernick ESPN picture

Now that we know Kaepernick, Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette won’t face charges after an investigation that lasted longer than two months, ESPN is going with a new photo that depicts a kinder, gentler, slightly goofier Kaepernick.

Colin Kaepernick ESPN photo

No need to fear, ladies and gents … it’s Colin Happynick! All he needs is Pharrell’s giant hat and a fun beat, and we’re ready for some football!

“Clap along if you feel like TMZ tells no truth … Clap along if you know ESPN really has no clue …”

17 Comments
16 comments
bkatecd
bkatecd

For sure.  How many reputations have they tarnished?  They want to be legit, then they had best get their facts straight before being the FIRST to report an ugly story.

bkatecd
bkatecd

So true.  This whole situation blew me away when these sports talk show hosts, reciting what TMZ wrote.  Come on TMZ?  Isn't that a big enough clue in itself to double check a story?  Amazing how lazy these people are.  Not only that, when they comment on the story they always use buzz words that makes the person or persons guilty.


I'm so glad nothing came of this situation.  Following Colin Kaeprmick since he was in college would never lead me to believe he would be involved in that type of situation. 

RonaldRupert
RonaldRupert

Well that TMZ needs to be dismantled, they tell nothing but lies, there is no truth in what they write, as a sports fan I'm getting tired of all there BS, I wish someone could put a stop to this.

SFF49JYP4L
SFF49JYP4L

ESPN and their "reporting" is everything that's wrong with sports these days.

princessalexys
princessalexys

The pictures remind of the way the press handled Trayvon Martin.  They continually and only showed a picture of him with big sweet smile when he was no more than 12 years old.

Eric
Eric

Couldn't disagree more...ESPN is just ESPN. They aren't trying to spin Kap as a thug. Kap is all about image: Dolphin hats, tats, etc. Plus he got himself in the situations where he was questioned about various issues. Russel Wilson isn't getting bad pub, and he has photos looking just like CK.

The Niner players are making the team look like thugs to anyone not in the Bay Area. Racial blasts, weapons, hit and runs, fake bomb threats, possible sexual assaults. You can't blame the appearance the media shows, but just cause we love the team, the rest of the nation sees a very different picture.

Spartan Sports Guy
Spartan Sports Guy

@Eric except, there never was a possible sexual assault. This case never moved past "suspicious incident" so the term should have never been out there. If Tom Brady was the victim of bogus TMZ reports I guarantee ESPN would run a picture of him smiling in the best outfit Gizzelle could lay out for him rather than a pic of Tom pissed and throwing a fit on the sidelines. 

Eric
Eric

@Spartan Sports Guy Maybe so, but Tom Brady doesn't get in those situations in the first place, which is where professional athletes like CK learn to understand how their off field actions shape perception. There was enough cause for police to do a month long investigation, so clearly it was a bad spot to be in, tied into a long laundry list of bad situations that Niner players found themselves in (guilty or not) in the last year or two.


I hate TMZ, and am not a fan of muckraking journalism at all, yet somehow guys like Tom Brady, Kelly Slater (surfing), Derek Jeter, etc. hook up with scores of women from super models to cocktail waitresses, and never end up in those kind of circumstances. Situational awareness...


My point is CK needs less time posing nude with religious tattoos, and ending up as a dichotomous  "person of interest" in potentially damaging and compromising situations like that. Its a learning curve for a young millionaire who is out and on the scene.


Its not ESPN's fault the 49er team has a public image problem now, that spills over to anyone who gets in trouble that is on the roster. I just don't see them a) having a personal goal to 'thug up CK', not do I see them doing it to other athletes who are in bigger real conundrums than he is. ESPN largely sucks, but I don't see them trying to make nice guys into gangsters. This is a case of Niner fans being extra sensitive to both the criticizm leveled, and the photos used, all of which are public photos of their QB.

Tod in Austin
Tod in Austin

@Eric @Spartan Sports Guy You're assuming the 'cause' for the long investigation was the event itself.  That's possible, but the cause could just as likely be the celebrity element of the accused.  


Also, regarding your last paragraph, you say that the PR problem comes from 'getting in trouble'.  CK didn't get in trouble.  He got investigated.  That's not the same thing, BUT the media wants to connect the two to make a story, and you're simply following their lead by parroting that narrative.


Look at it this way.  Aldon Smith DID get in trouble. He went through the court system, got suspended, went to rehab, etc.  That's getting in trouble.  CK didn't get in trouble.  He got accused of something.  Those are separate issues, but they are being grouped together to create a story that is just that, a story.

Spartan Sports Guy
Spartan Sports Guy

@Tod in Austin @Spartan Sports Guy

@Spartan Sports Guy 


Unless I am missing something, I don't think CK was ever even accused of anything. We've known almost since the story broke that the woman acknowledged she didn't sleep with Kap that night, had consentually prior to that night, and he was long gone when she woke up unable to remember what had gone on the night before. The outcome of the investigation was rather predictable. "Suspicious circumstances" don't equal accusations.

Sunset Boy
Sunset Boy

Shocker!

In case anyone wasn't aware, this is how the media helps to create a narrative, based on how they want people to digest the story. Villains, heroes, criminals, victims -- everyone is portrayed a certain way in order to maximize interest. "Mean Colin" is controversial. "Happy Colin" is boring. It usually isn't quite this blatant, but pretty standard stuff, really. 

Tod in Austin
Tod in Austin

The media did the same thing in the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman killing.


I get that they want to put a face with the name, but considering that they are a TV/Internet outlet, the most generic and applicable thing to do with an athlete in the news is to show footage of him in a game to remind everyone why he's famous rather than digging around to get a picture that tells a story.

bkatecd
bkatecd

Don't you think all sports talk shows and the media owes these gentlemen an apology? How quick to judge and how an apology is hardly ever given. Shame on all of you.

RonaldRupert
RonaldRupert

@bkatecd I'm glad you wrote that, this needed to be said, all of these sports writers 

                 put very little truth in a story, and one big problem is that there are many

                 people believe what is written, and they know it.

AdrianReynolds
AdrianReynolds

On the bright side, I saw TWO articles in the last 2 days on the ESPN baseball site about the Giants. I'm calling West Coast/Bay Area bias.

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