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San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Alex Smith (11) and Colin Kaepernick (7) warm up before an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
SANTA CLARA - Colin Kaepernick's parents can move pretty quickly, too. They didn't waste much time reacting to an AOL FanHouse column criticizing the tattoo-laden body of the 49ers' newest starting quarterback.

"It annoyed me," Teresa Kaepernick told USA Today on Thursday. "You are categorizing this kid on something like tattoos? Really?

"Saying other guys are role models because they don't have them? Really? Some of these other guys don't have crystal clear reputations. That's how you're going to define this kid? It's pretty irritating, but it is what it is."

The column, by David Whitley, attempts to claim that Kaepernick's tattoos threaten the stereotype of a NFL quarterback. Here is how the column opens on AOL's Sporting News site:

"San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick is going to be a big-time NFL quarterback. That must make the guys in San Quentin happy.

"Approximately 98.


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7 percent of the inmates at California's state prison have tattoos. I don't know that as fact, but I've watched enough "Lockup" to know it's close to accurate.

"I'm also pretty sure less than 1.3 percent of NFL quarterbacks have tattoos. There's a reason for that.

"NFL quarterback is the ultimate position of influence and responsibility. He is the CEO of a high-profile organization, and you don't want your CEO to look like he just got paroled."

Kaepernick's adopted parents didn't take kindly to the piece on their son's tattoos, which are an array of Bible verses.

"Colin's a fairly religious kid, but he's not in your face about it," Rick Kaepernick told USA Today by phone. "It's more about him and what he believes. ... This guy has probably never talked to Colin. Instead of saying that Colin does all these great things and donates his time to children, this guy is going to make him out like a gangster. Really?"

Added Teresa Kaepernick: "In high school he did a big paper on substance abuse. He's truly disgusted by it. He just has issues with it. He's so careful about what he puts in his body. He feels that it's his temple."

Whitley, who has two adopted African-American daughters, was asked to explain his column's intentions in a later email to The Sporting News' Editor-In-Chief Garry Howard. Whitley stated that Kaepernick's tattoos caught his attention while watching Sunday's 49ers game, and that any further success by Kaepernick could "shatter the tattoo stereotype. What I didn't factor in was that admitting I don't like tattoos was going to be equated with me admitting I don't like African-Americans."

While Howard stated that Whitley's intention was "sincere and honest," Howard stated he "could have done more" regarding the inferences of tattoos and criminal elements.

A disclaimer was later added to the column to note that Whitley's opinion is not reflective of the opinion of AOL, Inc.

Like his parents, Colin Kaepernick also feels pretty protective of his family. On Thursday night, he posted an Instagram photo of him and his brother Kyle, who was celebrating his birthday. "Would go to the end of this world for this man!" Colin Kaepernick wrote.

Kaepernick told SFGate.com earlier this season that his tattoos carry inspirational messages, such as "Faith," "Against All Odds," and "My blessing is my curse."