Colin Kaepernick's cause gets a boost.
Conlin Kaepernick has found himself at an uncomfortable crossroads in his NFL career. After opting out of the final year of his contract with the 49ers, the QB remains unsigned. Many on social media have speculated that this is because NFL teams are avoiding him due to his political statement when he refused to stand during the National Anthem last season. Though he didn't break any hard rules by doing so, pundits and league officials have since commented that a move of that nature shows disrespect to law enforcement officials and military personnel. This past weekend, there was a counter-move to dispel that rumor.
More than 75 police officers from the NYPD held a rally in support of Kaepernick on Saturday (August 19th), proving that the athlete's cause is one that is admired by the very men and women who he supposedly offended with his actions. Following the initial incident in 2016, Kaepernick told NFL.com that he was "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."
Officers who participated in Saturday's #ImWithKap rally agreed with him about the ongoing issue of unarmed black men and women being killed during what were viewed as seemingly routine police stops. "We can confirm that the issues he is saying exist in policing and throughout the criminal justice system indeed exist," one participant said, alluding to the lack of indictments for the offending officers in multiple cases.
The added irony in the fact that the rally took place in New York revolves around Giants co-owner John Mara, who was one of the few owners who actually verbalized his reasoning to Sports Illustrated for passing on Kaepernick. "All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue," Mara said. "If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I’ve run into."