When Ryan Tannehill tore his ACL in August, Miami Dolphins management responded by signing Jay Cutler -- not Colin Kaepernick -- to be their new starting quarterback. But that doesn't mean players on the Dolphins don't support Kaepernick, who still remains unsigned. Before their Week 3 game against the Jets, several members of the Dolphins wore "I'm with Kap" shirts during pregame warmups.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Ja'Wuan James, Laremy Tunsil, Jermon Bushrod, Jay Ajayi, Andre Branch, Kenny Stills and Damien Williams all wore the shirt. Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that Leonte Carroo, Jakeem Grant and Drew Morgan also had the shirt on.
Jermon Bushrod, Laremy Tunsil, Ja'Wuan James wearing their "ImwithKap" t-shirts pic.twitter.com/vnVO9DvaPL— Chris Perkins (@chrisperk) September 24, 2017
WRs Leonte Carroll, Jakeem Grant & Drew Morgan wearing "ImwithKap" t-shirts pic.twitter.com/z9agRfuVn3— Chris Perkins (@chrisperk) September 24, 2017
Here's a closer look at the shirt:
The Dolphins players' decision to show their support for Kaepernick comes after Donald Trump criticized NFL players who protest racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. At a rally in Alabama on Friday, Trump called for NFL owners to fire players who don't stand for the anthem.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now," Trump said. "Out. He's fired. He's fired."
"You know, some owner is going to do that, he's going to say, 'That guy that disrespects our flag, he's fired,'" Trump continued. "And that owner, they don't know it -- they're friends of mine, many of them -- they don't know it, they'll be the most popular person for a week, they'll be the most popular person in this country, because that's a total disrespect of our heritage, that's a total disrespect of everything that we stand for."
Kaepernick, of course, started his protest against racial injustice during the 2016 preseason when he was the 49ers' quarterback. Almost immediately, other players around the league joined him by kneeling or raising their fists during the national anthem. Meanwhile, Kaepernick pledged to donate $1 million to charities that support communities in need. In the past year, Kaepernick has followed up on his promise, making several donations to various charities.
But after Kaepernick opted out of his contract in San Francisco this offseason, he's been unable to find a team to sign him. At various points, Kaepernick was connected to teams like the Seahawks, Ravens, and Dolphins, but none of those teams made a move to bring him in. Even though Kaepernick remains unsigned, his protest has carried on without him, as several players have continued their demonstrations during the 2017 season. In response to Trump's comments on Friday, multiple teams condemned his remarks, players openly criticized him on Twitter, the Jaguars and Ravens held a large protest in London, and many more protests are expected throughout Sunday's Week 3 slate of games.
In Kaepernick's career, he has posted a higher passer rating than current starters like Joe Flacco, Blake Bortles, Brian Hoyer, Josh McCown, Jacoby Brissett and Ryan Tannehill (injured and replaced by Cutler).