Frank Serpico, a former New York City police officer who put his career and life on the line to expose rampant corruption in the NYPD, and was later immortalized in the 1973 film Serpico starring Al Pacino, today joined current members of the NYPD to show support for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
According to the Associated Press, the 81-year-old Serpico said he’s not a football fan, but believes Kaepernick is being unfairly blacklisted from the NFL for his political protest.
“He’s trying to hold up this government, up to our founding fathers,” said Serpico.
The 29-year-old Kaepernick is currently unable to find work with an NFL team after drawing controversy last year when he refused to stand for the national anthem before games. Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand was done as an act of protest against police violence and oppression against people of color in the United States, according to website of the NFL.
“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 last August. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Serpico was joined by about 75 members of the NYPD, including Sgt. Edwin Raymond, who said he was there to support Colin Kaepernick as part of a desire for racial healing in the United States, according to ESPN.
“Until racism in America is no longer taboo, we own up to it, we admit it, we understand it and then we do what we have to do to solve it. Unfortunately, we’re going to have these issues,” Raymond said.
Many people are upset with the NFL for what they see as the unfair treatment of Colin Kaepernick over his controversial political views. The NFL has, in the past, come under fire for being too lenient in punishing the bad behavior and law-breaking of its players, including numerous incidents of domestic violence, illegal dog fighting, and assault charges.
Kaepernick was merely standing up for what he believes and is now unable to find a position with an NFL team, prompting calls for boycotts against the NFL by people who believe Kaepernick is being punished for speaking his mind. According to the Sacramento Bee, the Atlanta NAACP is among the groups calling for a formal boycott against the NFL due to its treatment of Kaepernick.
Colin Kaepernick’s future in professional football remains unclear. For Frank Serpico, and others, the NFL is making a big mistake by not letting Kaepernick on the field.
[Featured Image by Mary Altaffer/AP Images]