Explaining Colin Kaepernick’s beef with Super Bowl referee Carl Cheffers

Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick (l) and veteran NFL official Carl Cheffers (r)
Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick (l) and veteran NFL official Carl Cheffers (r)

Colin Kaepernick started 58 games in his six seasons in the NFL, all with the San Francisco 49ers. Of those games in Kaepernick's career, an unusual one stands out as Carl Cheffers has been announced as the referee for Super Bowl 57.

Cheffers called the 49ers game versus the then-St. Louis Rams back in Week 13 of the 2012 season. In that game, the quarterback disagreed with an intentional grounding call that Cheffers made.

That call gave the Rams their first points of the game, making it a 7-2 score in the third quarter. On that play, Kaepernick tossed the ball away as he was being taken to the turf in the end zone.

The San Francisco signal-caller shouldered the blame for the 16-13 defeat, but insisted the safety was the wrong call. After the game, Colin Kaepernick reiterated that Cheffers made the incorrect call:

"I thought I got it past the line of scrimmage. They said it didn't make it to the line of scrimmage. I think it did."

Cheffers clarified after the game that the play could not be reviewed since it was not a scoring play:

"It's all judgment, so none of that is subject to a review. It was intentional grounding. He either needs a receiver in the area, or he needs to throw the ball beyond the line of scrimmage. The official on that side of the field came to me and reported that neither of those things took place. So we have intentional grounding ... and the result of that enforcement is a safety."
Referee Carl Cheffers: "No aspects of that (intentional grounding resulting in safety) is reviewable. The result of the play is ...

Despite Carl Cheffers' call against Kaepernick, the game itself came down to the wire as the quarterback had a solid performance.

Colin Kaepernick played well against the Rams in spite of the intentional grounding call

In the Week 13 matchup, Colin Kaepernick threw for 208 yards while rushing for 84 in the overtime loss to the Rams. However, the 49ers quarterback fumbled late in the fourth quarter, which led to a Rams touchdown. That touchdown tied the game at 10 after the Rams were successful on a two-point conversion.

The San Francisco 49ers kicked a field goal to go up 13 - 10 with 1:30 left in regulation. Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein sent the game into overtime with a field goal as time expired. Ultimately, Zuerlein would kick the game-winner in overtime to give the Rams a 16 - 13 victory over the Rams.

#Legatron Greg Zuerlein and the #Rams stun the @49ers in OT. Amazing games today #sundaysarefor #NFL Football! Now onto the afternoon games

The question remains whether that intentional grounding call on Colin Kaepernick cost the 49ers a win. We'll never know for sure.

If you use any of the above quotes, please H/T Sportskeeda.

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Edited by John Maxwell
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