Former ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer was one of the most vocal critics of Colin Kaepernick during Kaepernick’s anthem protests with the San Francisco 49ers last year, saying Kaepernick’s protest had “disrupted that organization. It has caused friction. And it’s torn at the fabric of the team.”

Many 49ers’ players disputed that, and Dilfer got called out by local columnist Tim Kawakami as 49ers GM Trent Baalke’s “unofficial spokesman and spin-meister,” leading many to think Dilfer’s comments there came from Baalke. But on Saturday, Dilfer (who was let go by ESPN in the mass layoffs in April) decided to call out those who use anonymous sources:  

That feels just a little bit ironic coming from Dilfer, especially considering the way he described effects inside the 49ers organization without citing sources. When engaging with Indianapolis Colts’ blogger Brad Wells about this, though, he denied that he ever quoted Baalke as an anonymous source:

It’s interesting that Dilfer is now disputing Kawakami’s claims about him spinning for Baalke. It’s hard to know who’s right there from the outside, but the flat denial from Dilfer is notable. And of course, he is commenting on a legitimate problem here (the “anonymous NFL sources” are frequently a plague, and a way for executives to advance their own agendas without consequences), and he’s not wrong. And of course, there is a place for some kinds of reporting with anonymous sources.

But it’s still curious to hear Dilfer bashing anonymous sources considering the controversy he kicked up last year by using them. And it doesn’t really matter whether those sources were Baalke or others in the 49ers organization. That particular identity isn’t really the crucial thing here; it’s that Dilfer certainly seemed to be quite happy to pass along anonymous quotes (how else would he know if the 49ers’ organization was “divided”?) last year, and now he’s criticizing that practice.

[Trent Dilfer on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.