It had been nearly three years since San Francisco 49ers quarterback and Battle Ground Academy alum C.J. Beathard won a start in the National Football League.
So, when he earned his second career NFL win, the 27-year-old signal caller decided to do something special for his late brother in his postgame press conference after the 49ers’ 20-12 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.
Donning a black jacket with the word “King” embroidered on the right side, Beathard explained how his choice of apparel was a tribute to his brother Clayton, who was killed outside of a bar in Nashville last year.
“The King is our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ,” Beathard said. “It has a lot of irony with me because my brother’s middle name was King; Clayton King Beathard was his full name. My other brother, Tucker (a country music singer), dedicated his album to Clay and it was called ‘The King.’ Clay’s pastor in New York got [the jacket] made and sent it to me and it dropped me to tears when I saw it.”
Clayton Beathard and Paul Trapeni III, both BGA graduates, were fatally stabbed in late December 2019 outside of the Dogwood Bar on Division Street. Beathard and Trapeni both reportedly came to the defense of a woman outside the bar after a man made a pass at her.
Saturday’s win was Beathard’s first start in 790 days. His last NFL win came on Nov. 12, 2017, in a 31-21 win over the New York Giants. Against the Cardinals, Beathard completed 13 of 22 passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns with a 125.4 quarterback rating.
“Everything that I've been through the last year and it being the year anniversary of my brother passing, it's just one of those things you can't really put into words other than it's just God," Beathard said. "You can't write a script any [better]. I couldn't have hand-picked it to go the way it did, so I just put my faith in God.”
Added 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan: "I think C.J. played awesome…Just his leadership out there, the way the guys gravitated to him. You could feel it during the week at practice. He came in Wednesday when he first got his reps just so ready to go. I think you could tell how hard they played for him too. I was impressed with C.J. and very happy for him today."
Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_