Items related to Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest and his other efforts to call attention to racial inequality and police brutality will be displayed as part of a Black Lives Matter collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. A museum curator reported news of the museum’s addition to USA Today Sports.
Damion Thomas, the Washington museum’s sports curator, said in an email.
“The National Museum of African American History and Culture has nearly 40,000 items in our collection… The Colin Kaepernick collection is in line with the museum’s larger collecting efforts to document the varied areas of society that have been impacted by the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Kaepernick is currently a free agent after he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Several NFL players have stated that teams are refusing to sign him because of his political nature, not his ability.
An earlier report claimed Colin would get an exhibit dedicated to him, Thomas said that’s not the case.
“There are no current plans for an exhibition on Colin Kaepernick.”
Thomas previously told USA Today Sports that the museum planned to display Kaepernick’s items which included the game-worn jersey, shoes, in addition to a photo donated by noted sociologist Harry Edwards. This was said to happen within “one or two years.”
Kaepernick was joined by several teammates and inspired players across the league to protest the national anthem. The controversial protest spurred a nationwide debate and criticism of the role professional athletes have on social issues while on the field.
Despite the quarterback remaining unsigned, the anthem protests that he started last season have continued on. Recently, Eagles’ defensive end Chris Long and Seahawks’ Justin Britt, two white players, also showed their solidarity for the protest by standing next to fellow teammates Malcolm Jenkins and Michael Bennett during the anthem, according to Sports Illustrated.
The museum, situated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., opened to the public in 2016 as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. The museum has dozens of featured sports items including a track warm-up suit that was worn by gold medalist Tommie Smith. Smith, along with his teammate, John Carlos, famously raised black-gloved fists into the air during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympic Games.
Colin Kaepernick Rally Outside NFL Headquarters
On Wednesday, activists and supporters of Colin Kaepernick held a “United We Stand” rally outside the NFL’s headquarters in New York City. The rally was in support of quarterback Colin Kaepernick who is currently a free agent without a team.
The crowd had an estimated size of 1,200 people. Among the groups which attended the rally was the NAACP, who wore t-shirts with Kaepernick‘s image on the front.
Edwin Raymond, an NYPD Sgt. said, according to the New York Daily News‘ Dale E. Eisinger and Larry McShane, that Kaepernick is attempting to bring awareness to racism and place a spotlight on law enforcement in America.
“What Colin Kaepernick did is try to bring awareness that this nation, unfortunately, has ignored for far too long… And that’s the issue of racism in America and policing in America. We decided to gather here today because of the way he’s being railroaded for speaking the obvious truth.”
Prior to the rally, the NAACP wrote a letter asking to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about opening a dialogue regarding Kaepernick and players exercising their First Amendment rights, according to the New York Times‘ Malika Andrews.
The rally comes days after dozens of members of the New York Police Department assembled in Brooklyn, New York while wearing shirts with the hashtag slogan reading, “#ImWithKap.”
[Featured Image by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]