The Legislature’s Black caucus drafted a bill to honor prominent African-Americans during February and included Kaepernick’s name. The inclusion of the controversial quarterback caused White lawmakers to block the proposal. The state Assembly passed the resolution on Tuesday after the Black Democrats agreed to remove Kap from the list.
The resolution was written by Democratic Rep. David Crowley. He called the move to redact Kaepernick “a textbook example of white privilege” and a “slap in the face.”
It bothered the Black lawmaker that despite the resolution being created by his people and for the Black community, it ultimately had to be approved by his White counterparts.
“It is critical for this body to recognize the Black caucus and recognize the resolution we put forward,” Crowley said on the Assembly floor. “Many of these people that you don’t agree with will still be in the history books that your children and grandchildren will be reading.”
Kaepernick, a former San Franciso 49er, drew harsh backlash after he began kneeling during the national anthem beginning in the 2016 NFL season. His silent protest was to bring awareness to racial inequality and police brutality. It quickly became a national conversation about patriotism and honoring the American flag.
Republicans did not support Kap being apart of the resolution “for obvious reasons,” said Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke
Crowley revealed that the quarterback was listed for his charitable efforts including a donation of $25,000 to Urban Underground, a Milwaukee nonprofit that works with local teens.
GOP lawmakers still saw no reason to include Kaepernick.
“I think it’s important to recognize the contributions of literally thousands and thousands of African-Americans to our state’s history but also trying to find people who, again, bring us together. Not look at people who draw some sort of vitriol from either side,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said of the initial proposal.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.