Jeff Garcia won’t apologize for Mina Kimes bashing: ‘Nothing sexist’
Jeff Garcia is sorry he’s not sorry.
Garcia called into 95.7 The Game’s “Steiny & Guru” in San Francisco on Friday afternoon and explained he would not be apologizing for ripping ESPN’s Mina Kimes for her Jimmy Garoppolo critique.
“First of all, I don’t owe anybody an apology for my beliefs and my experience at playing the QB position,” Garcia said. “The difficulty of that position, the expectations on that position, how qualified you have to be to be one of 32 starters in the National Football League… people want to tear apart, tear down individuals based on statistics.
“The only statistic that really matters right now is, are you winning games, or are you losing games?”
The former 49ers quarterback has been a lightning rod in sports media this week after ripping Kimes for analogizing Garoppolo to a non-contributor on a school project getting an “A” on the backs’ of others work. Garoppolo and the 49ers did not score a touchdown on offense as the team defeated the Packers 13-10 on Saturday to reach the NFC title game.
In a comment on Instagram, Garcia ripped Kimes as someone unqualified to critique Garoppolo considering she never played quarterback in the NFL. He also disputed the notion his comment was sexist, saying that he would have responded the same way to a man’s criticism as he did Kimes.
“There was nothing sexist about what I had to say, outside of the fact, yes, women don’t play professional football, there are women that do participate in football,” Garcia said, “but had it been a man saying the same thing, I would have had the same response for that man who has never stood in the pocket, who has never delivered a touchdown pass, has never take a hit to the head while trying to make a play from within the pocket.
“To be able to sit there and criticize someone at the level Jimmy Garoppolo is at, at the level any of these quarterbacks are at, at the level that I played at and say that it was sexist, misogynistic — people wanted to say there was racism behind it — people wanted to break me down as a player. What you think, whatever you want to say, it doesn’t matter to me. All I care about are what Niners fans and faithful think, what my family thinks, what my close friends think. That’s all that matters.”
Garcia, 51, played for the 49ers, Browns, Lions, Eagles and Bucs between 1999 and 2009. He kept harping that he did not believe his Instagram rant against Kimes was sexist.
“All this other hypocrisy, this craziness that stems from my comments about a woman — toward a woman who was breaking down Jimmy Garoppolo, basically saying that he’s along for the ride,” he said. “First of all, you go play a game in zero-degree weather and see how productive you are at even throwing a football 10 yards with nobody rushing you and nobody else around you. It’s not an easy thing to do.”
The clip of Kimes’ appearance on “First Take” this week, he said, came across his Instagram feed and was not something he was looking for.
“I don’t seek out what people are saying, I am not sitting here listening to ESPN. There was a post that came through my feed from a 49ers faithful account,” Garcia said. “It was in his post where he screenshot what Mina had said, or he shared the video. I made a comment on his post, or at least that’s what I thought was doing, to the 49ers faithful, saying, ‘Hey, I’m behind Jimmy, he knows he has to play better.’
“We’re all very self-critical at this level of how we play the game. If we’re not, we wouldn’t be at this level. He’s more critical of himself than anybody else, maybe. It just do happened she was the mouth on the end of the video post that was shared. If it was Skip Bayless, if it was you… I would have said the same thing. It had nothing to do with her being woman.”
Matt Steinmetz, the program’s co-host, asked Garcia if he could criticize Jimmy Garoppolo.
“Go ahead. Everybody does. It’s fuel to his fire,” Garcia responded.
“But I never played the game, Jeff,” Steinmetz said. “I never threw a touchdown pass, why can I do it? Why am I allowed to criticize Jimmy Garoppolo?”
“Look, if you were the one that criticized him and said similar things and I happened to see it, I would have said the same thing about you,” Garcia said. “It has nothing to do with her being a woman or you being a man. It has to do with the experience of being in that position.”
In the face of persistent questioning about the incident, Garcia tried to steer the topic to the 49ers’ upcoming NFC title game against the Rams. Eventually, Garcia refused to apologize one last time before hanging up.
“I’m a very kind person, I’m a very giving person,” Garcia said. “Do I have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder because of how I had to prove myself consistently, constantly? Absolutely. When I hear somebody, whether it’s Mina or somebody else, talk about the game of football, give their insight and professional opinion without ever having actually done it, there’s a flaw to that. Everybody is entitled to their opinion.
“It had nothing to do with disrespecting women. Nothing! If people want to turn it that way, that’s sad. All I said was, you’ve never played the game. It’s history, it’s old. Move on.”