Kanye West was photographed Thursday morning with a red MAGA hat that supports President Donald Trump and a sweatshirt with the name of protesting free agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, confusing many who understood the contradiction, the New York Post’s Page Six wrote.
The controversial rapper, 41, rocked the gear at The Fader’s New York office. The Fader is a music magazine that covers music, style, and culture. Andy Cohn snapped a photo of West, husband of social media star Kim Kardashian, that pushed it out on Twitter.
— Andy Cohn (@andycohn) September 27, 2018
Kaepernick, the former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, started taking a knee during the national anthem of his NFL games to protest alleged police brutality against African-Americans. The silent protest spread to other players throughout the league.
The quarterback, though, has not been able to sign on with another NFL team since and has filed a collusion lawsuit against its owners.
Trump brought the political angle into the controversy in 2017, telling a rally that any player who did such a protest during the national anthem should be fired. He claimed that the protest insulted the flag.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump told a rally for Republican senator Luther Strange in Alabama last September, according to The Guardian.
Trump spoke out when Nike recently made Kaepernick one of the faces of its “Just Do It” anniversary campaign.
“But I think it’s a terrible message that they’re sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there’s a reason for them doing it,” Trump told The Daily Caller this month. “But I think as far as sending a message, I think it’s a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent. There’s no reason for it.”
West has confessed his love for Trump in April, pushing back against the backlash he faced for wearing the Make America Great Again hat that has come to symbolize the Trump campaign and his administration, according to CNN.
The president, in turn, thanked West for his support on Twitter.
Thank you Kanye, very cool! https://t.co/vRIC87M21X
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2018
West, though, also has supported Kaepernick and his right to speak out, making his feelings known on Twitter.
I stand for giving everyone a voice. Adidas giving me a voice and Nike giving Colin voice on a big business level makes the world a more advanced place.
— ye (@kanyewest) September 10, 2018
The Grammy Award-winning entertainer has been a lightning rod for controversy. He had to issue an apology last month for comments he made in May about the slavery of African-Americans in the United States being “a choice,” according to E! News.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” West said in May, per the entertainment network.