It appears everybody has taken a stance on Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem. While the San Francisco 49ers quarterback was initially criticized for being “disrespectful” to the American flag and veterans, military members and others came out in support of the NFL star. However, according to several unnamed NFL team executives, Kaepernick’s decision to speak out against racial injustice and police brutality is putting his career in jeopardy.
“I don’t want him anywhere near my team,” one front office executive told Mike Freeman of the Bleacher Report. “He’s a traitor.”
Another admitted folks really hate the 49ers player. “In my career, I have never seen a guy so hated by front office guys as Kaepernick.”
It’s important to note Kaepernick had been sitting during the national anthem for weeks before a reporter asked him about it. Only then did he explain why he wasn’t getting into formation for our country’s adopted song, which has a problematic history.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said when asked about his private protest. “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick’s last comment, about bodies in the street, caught the ire of law enforcement officers. The San Francisco Police Officers Association slammed football player, claiming he “has embarrassed himself, the 49er organization, and the NFL based on a false narrative and misinformation that lacks any factual basis.”
Given their harsh rhetoric, I wonder if the group also disavowed its members who traded racist and homophobic text messages that called Black people “wild animals” and Hispanic folks “beaners”–or did they merely add another brick to the seemingly impenetrable blue wall of support?
The fallout over his method of protest has been swift and unrelenting, but it doesn’t appear Kaepernick is backing down. Wednesday, he spoke with prominent activist DeRay Mckesson, who said the quarterback is committed to the movement for Black lives.
“It’s important that we support Colin, as he chose to use his platform to speak the truth in public, truths others choose to ignore,” Mckesson wrote on Facebook. “Colin understands that telling the truth in public is not the end, but is a means to an end. He understands that the work continues.”
Apparently, the work also includes sporting a pair of provocative socks that depict a pig in a police officer’s hat.
Colin Kaepernick is now wearing socks depicting the police as pigs. pic.twitter.com/C1D809YSR2
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 1, 2016
CBSSports.com reports Kaepernick has been wearing his pig socks since at least August 10, weeks before the drama over the national anthem protest, or his anti-police brutality views, broke and people began paying attention.
As Kaepernick said in a press conference, he’s ready to deal with the consequences of his protest. So, if folks thought he would be bullied or shamed into changing his stance, looks like they were sorely mistaken.