Apparently, the Colin Kaepernick protest is now resulting in a potential boycott of San Francisco 49ers’ games by the Santa Clara Police Department. The department reportedly provides security and protection for roughly eight home games annually with the manpower of around 70 Santa Clara police officers. As Fox News reports, the local Santa Clara Police union is so livid over the Colin Kaepernick protest that they are demanding that the stadium “take action” against Colin Kaepernick’s 100 percent legal and Constitutionally-protected protest.
If you haven’t been watching the Colin Kaepernick drama unfold, the 49ers’ player has been protesting police brutality against the African-American community and showing his support for the Black Lives Matter political movement by sitting out “The Star-Spangled Banner” at 49ers’ games.
According to Colin, he doesn’t feel comfortable pledging allegiance to a country that allows police officers to continue “getting away with murder,” reports NFL.com.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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.”
The Santa Clara Police Department said in its letter, which was reportedly sent to the 49ers’ football organization on behalf of the Santa Clara Police union, that it will not be continuing to send its officers to work until the team does something about Colin Kaepernick and his protest, which has extended beyond simply not standing for the national anthem to wearing socks with pictures of pigs as police on them during practice.
NBC Bay Area reports that the Santa Clara Police department said in its letter that its officers might “choose” to stop working at the 49ers’ facilities if something (the letter didn’t say what, precisely) isn’t done about Colin Kaepernick and his protest against police brutality.
The letter added that the Santa Clara Police union has a duty to its employees and to ensure that its employees are not “harassed” at work.
“The board of directors of the Santa Clara Police Officer’s Association has a duty to protect its members and work to make all of their workings environments free of harassing behavior.”
The Santa Clara Police Department may be the most recent (and perhaps the most significant) group to get angry about Colin Kaepernick’s police brutality protest. Since Kaepernick opted to start sitting out “The Star-Spangled Banner,” he has drawn the ire and anger of many, many Americans. Some of who have called Colin Kaepernick “unpatriotic,” and “un-American.” Some Colin Kaepernick dissenters have even suggested he should “leave the country” if he’s unwilling to stand for the national anthem.
Despite having many dissenters, including the Santa Clara Police Department, Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality (particularly against people of color) has also received some widespread public support, including the support of the San Francisco 49ers. The organization issued a statement regarding Colin Kaepernick’s Constitutionally-protected freedom of speech and expression shortly after the controversy surrounding his public protest against police began to explode.
“In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
Even though the Santa Clara Police Department is now threatening to boycott San Francisco 49ers’ home games in response to Colin Kaepernick’s continued protests, Colin Kaepernick is also getting some unexpected support from U.S. veterans. Since his protest began, the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick has trended widely on social media and has illustrated that, for many veterans, the freedoms promised by the Constitution are more sacred than the symbolism of the flag and patriotic songs.
Some people are even suggesting that if the Santa Clara police refuse to continue working with the 49ers, the team should hire members of the #VeteransForKaepernick movement to proved security at games.
It is worth noting that when Colin Kaepernick’s protest style seems to be spreading. Jeremy Lane of the Seattle Seahawks also recently refused to stand for the national anthem, and on Thursday when Colin opted to kneel during the national anthem rather than stand during the Charger’s Salute to the Military in San Diego, he was joined by fellow player Eric Reed.
Kaepernick has also publicly defended his protest, saying that his disgust with the state of police brutality in the United States has nothing to do with being un-American. He says it has to do with taking a stand against inequality.
“We have a lot of issues in this country that we need to deal with. We have a lot of people that are oppressed. We have a lot of people that aren’t treated equally, aren’t given equal opportunities.”
Even though the Santa Clara Police Department is now threatening to boycott the 49ers, Colin Kaepernick shows no sign of ending his highly controversial and public protest. He has, however, promised to donate the first $1 million that he earns this season to “communities that help people.”
[Photo by Harry How/Getty Images]