NFL analyst and former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann offered up a sizzling take on Tuesday about the San Francisco 49ers team awards.
Per the 49ers website, the award voted on by the team honors the player “who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont,” the former 49ers running back and original member of the 1946 team.
While the award, which has gone to players like Joe Montana and Jerry Rice in the past, holds a lot of meaning to the team, Theismann views it differently now.
“This award doesn’t mean anything to me,” he said while appearing on Tuesday’s episode of “Outnumbered” on Fox News. “Inspired and courageous? You’re 2-14. What did he inspire? He’s [1-10] as a quarterback [this season]. What do you possibly inspire?”
The parameters under which the team votes on the award don’t require that the recipient make the biggest impact on the field, so it’s likely Kaepernick’s off-field actions are what earned him the honor this year.
The player made headlines beginning in the preseason for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police killings in the United States. While some — including Theismann — remain critical of his method, Kaepernick’s teammates have largely rallied behind the 29-year-old, a move Theismann also scoffed at Tuesday.
“You question players at times, they just sort of move along en masse and do this,” he said, referring to the support Kaepernick’s received from the 49ers locker room.
That support continued on Wednesday when 49ers wide receiver and Virginia native Torrey Smith chimed in about Theismann’s latest remarks on Twitter.
“Who cares what [Theismann] thinks?” Smith tweeted, adding that he thought Theismann was “one of the most arrogant people ever.”
While Smith said Theismann’s arrogance is something “everybody knows,” his opinion appears to be based on personal experience, too.
After offering up an Internet eye roll on Theismann’s take on the 49ers team awards, the 27-year-old relayed a story on Twitter about the time he said he met Theismann after a Redskins game several years ago while he was still a kid.
Smith said he learned a valuable lesson that day that he still thinks about today now that he’s on the other side of things.
He then lauded the late Sean Taylor for providing a proper example of how to treat his fans.
Smith added at the end that he has “no beef” with Theismann, despite his qualms.
Theismann has yet to reply to Smith, but he did offer up some advice to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who he believes has been “wishy-washy” when it comes to stomping out national anthem protests during games.
“I think you need to stand up and present [an order] to the owners,” he said on Tuesday, making a reference to Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, who was rumored to have forbidden his players from kneeling during the anthem. (Hunt has denied these claims, however.) “You will stand … and if you don’t, you’ll be gone. Period.”
He continued: “The American flag … it stands for the right to be able to do the things that you want to do. To be able to stand up and have a difference of opinion, and I agree with that part of it, but not while you’re on the job.”