Torrey Smith says his former teammate is being blackballed and treated more harshly than players in the league who have committed crimes.
New York Giants co-owner John Mara recently said that he received a number of "emotional" letters from fans saying that if any Giants players protest the way Kaepernick did, by kneeling during the national anthem, they would never come to another game.
"I heard he's one of the best owners in the league, so I don't want people to think I'm disrespecting this guy. I'm not," Smith said. "But it's just the fact that he commented about people, the fans, being mad about that but you just had a [kicker] on your team who you were trying to hold onto for dear life until it was too late."
Smith was referencing Josh Brown, whom the Giants re-signed despite a domestic violence allegation against him. They ultimately released Brown in October.
"People are accepting and willing to [forgive] people when they beat the hell out of women, sell drugs, do whatever and commit all kinds of crimes and you're able to forget that," said Smith, who is now with the Philadelphia Eagles. "I'm a believer in second chances. I believe in second chances for a guy like [Bengals rookie] Joe Mixon, even though I'm an advocate against domestic violence.
"But I think you have to be open-minded to know that [Kaepernick] did not commit a crime, he didn't hurt anybody, he didn't do anything. It was a protest, and now people are kind of locking him out or don't want to support anybody that's associated with him when you're willing to support people who beat women, do all kinds of other crazy things. It just doesn't make sense."