Rick Reilly has an adopted daughter, so he knows what Colin Kaepernick needs

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is in the middle of the biggest week of his life. What better time for a sportswriter to lecture him about his family?

In the middle of a hundred Super Bowl stories about the same six or seven talking points, it can be tough to find something unique to say. One writer's solution to that problem? Tell the world that the 49ers' 25 year-old quarterback is adopted and has never spoken to his biological mother, and then tell us why that's unhealthy.

From Rick Reilly and ESPN:

A lot of adopted kids think if they so much as talk to their birth parents, it's a slap in the face to their adopted ones. They refuse out of a vague notion of respect.

"Is that how you feel?" I asked Kaepernick on Tuesday at Super Bowl media day. "That it would be disrespectful to meet with your birth mother?"

"No," Kaepernick said. "It's not really a respect thing. It's just -- that's my family. That's it."

"But aren't you curious?"


That's odd...

This is the worst.

It's really NOT odd. Adopted children deal with their biological parents in all kinds of ways. Some spend years searching for them, others don't care to investigate. The only thing more arrogant than publicly cross-examining Kaepernick about this personal choice would be to take his answer and tell him why he's wrong:

The Kaepernicks have told Colin they'd have no problem with him speaking to Russo. They even met with her recently without Colin. But Colin hasn't budged on the issue. One of his friends told Yahoo! Sports that Colin would think it's "treasonous" to meet with Russo.

But it's not. It's healthy. It's healing. It's natural.

More than that, it's important.


Your parents are your parents forever. Nothing can ever change that.

What the f**k? Saying one side of this decision "healthy" and "natural" implies that Kaepernick's choice is unhealthy and unnatural. More than that, NONE OF THIS IS IMPORTANT. Kaepernick has two parents and no complaints. If he's happy, that's all that matters. This is moralizing disguised as empathy.

This rest of the column is Reilly justifying it all by telling the world that his adopted daughter met her biological mother early on and was all the better for it. Because the key to being the worst kind of sports writer is imagining a universe that revolves exclusively around you and your own life experience. Anyone who does things differently just doesn't get it, and it's your job to explain it to them. And that's how we all get the worst possible column from the Super Bowl. A human interest story told by someone too self-absorbed and awful to be humane.

So glad Rick Reilly's in New Orleans this week.


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