-- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick addressed the Internet reports that he and former teammate Aldon Smith fought in practice last Thursday over a woman, a squabble that purportedly took place before Smith was released following his fifth arrest -- the third involving DUI -- since 2011.
Another report also had Smith smashing up Kaepernick's Mercedes in retaliation.
"Well, if I was a reporter, I would go about things [differently]," Kaepernick said on the podium Wednesday afternoon. "I would realize that I have a deal with Jaguar. I've had it for a few years now, so I wouldn't be driving a Mercedes. I would also realize that we didn't have practice on Thursday, so no one was at the facility.
"So along those lines, I feel like anyone that believes that and goes about reporting it is, just doesn't have the best integrity, in my mind. I mean, to try to prey on athletes' livelihoods while one is going through a tough time is embarrassing to me. For people to report that and put that out there and jumped on that bandwagon, just to get Internet clicks and get attention to their website, or reports, it really is embarrassing for people to do that."
But while Kaepernick did not say if he and Smith did indeed have an altercation prior to Smith's arrest Thursday night and subsequent release from the 49ers on Friday, the quarterback did say he considered his draft classmate from the 2011 NFL draft a friend.
Smith, who racked up a combined 33.5 sacks in his first two years as a pass-rushing linebacker, was the No. 7 overall pick of that draft out of Missouri, while Kaepernick went in the second round from Nevada.
"It's really tragic and, I mean, I wish him the best; I hope he's doing well," Kaepernick said. "I hope everything turns out all right for him and he can get back on track. I mean, the biggest thing is, I know this team misses him and misses his presence here.
"Yeah, I was good friends with Aldon. He had just come to my camp, to my golf tournament, for Camp Taylor this past June. Showed support and helped the kids out."