- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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In a recent conversation with a source about the now-closed investigation in Miami involving San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the source said if the investigation turned up nothing, the subject's reputation should remain intact.
That’s where we are regarding Kaepernick. He deserves to have his reputation remain strong.
On Thursday, the Florida State Attorney’s office announced it will not pursue charges in a complaint made by a 25-year-old woman that she might have been sexually assaulted in early April. Kaepernick, 49ers receiver Quinton Patton and Seattle Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette were named as subjects in a "suspicious incident."
However, state attorney’s office spokesman Ed Griffith said Thursday there was no evidence of a sexual assault. Griffith made it clear that it wasn't a case; it was simply an investigation. It was frustrating for many involved that the investigation took more than two months to unfold. But that’s the process, and what we know as a result of the process is clear -- there was no wrongdoing.
Kaepernick should, in turn, get back his good reputation.
The 49ers backed Kaepernick during the investigation. They moved forward as if they knew their quarterback did nothing wrong. They made the biggest leap of faith possible last week when they gave Kaepernick an extension through the 2020 season even though the investigation was ongoing.
In April, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh spoke of the team’s faith and the importance of Kaepernick's reputation with some strong comments.
"At some point, there needs to be a resolution to this scenario," Harbaugh said. "The only victim in Colin's case is Colin's reputation. Looking at Colin Kaepernick's situation, at some point, there needs to be a resolution to some of this jump-the-gun, witch-hunt scenario we're seeing. I've seen one side reported. I've heard the other side and feel very good there'll be a good resolution, and hopefully a just one, too. I hate to see his reputation be the victim."
Since entering the NFL three years ago, Kaepernick has had nothing but a sterling reputation. While he is not always effusive with his time in news conference settings, he can be charming and is always quick with a laugh or smile when he is around his teammates, coaches and team support staff. He is known for his work ethic around the 49ers facility.
Kaepernick is hosting a golf tournament in his hometown next week to benefit children with heart disease. He is what the 49ers want their quarterback to be. He deserves this incident to be remembered for what it was: baseless and without evidence.