Colin Kaepernick‘s former 49ers teammate says it was Chip Kelly who punted the elephant out of the room after the QB’s first kneeling protest … with Jeremy Kerley telling TMZ Sports the coach couldn’t have handled the situation any better.
“I love Chip for it,” Kerley says.
The ex-S.F. wideout tells us shortly after Kaepernick began his protest of social injustices during 2016 NFL national anthems … Kelly didn’t allow things to get awkward.
In fact, Kerley says the former Niners head man brought the team together almost immediately and gave Kaepernick the floor to speak his mind to the locker room.
“For Chip being able to do that, I think that was pretty cool for him to kind of take the elephant out the room and remove all doubt,” Kerley says. “I think that was pretty cool, I love Chip for it.”
“It kind of removed all doubts and stuff in the locker room and we just bonded, like we were close and it was fun.”
Kerley tells us because of Chip’s actions … the 49ers were able to have a blast in 2016 — and the receiver says even though they finished 2-14, it was his favorite year of his 8-season career.
“To play with Kaep — a lot of people forget, Kaep was a ballplayer,” Kerley told us.
Jeremy says Kaepernick still has the goods to play in the NFL … adding, “I think it’s definitely time for him to jump back on the field and for people to accept him back on the field.”
As for Kerley — who hasn’t played since he was with Buffalo in 2018 — he says he’s still leaving the door open for an NFL return … but tells us he has a pretty sweet job in the meantime.