San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is firmly in the headlines at the moment after refusing to once again stand for the American national anthem prior a match with the San Diego Chargers.
Team-mate Eric Reid also protested alongside him, but they were booed by some sections of the crowd.
As if the national anthem drama wasn't enough, pictures emerged yesterday that seems to have landed Kaepernick in yet more hot bother.
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Kaepernick was snapped wearing socks with cartoon pigs in police uniforms in several off-season practices. It is seemingly another part of Milwaukee-born star's defiance, but he cleared up his intentions yesterday.
Kaepernick said: “I wore these socks, in the past, because the rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust. I have two uncles and friends who are police officers and work to protect and serve all people. So before these socks, which were worn before I took my public stance, are used to distract from the real issues, I wanted to address this immediately.”
The 49ers star is clearly getting a lot off his chest and is doing it far beyond words.
Bill Johnson of the National Association of Police Organisations, for one, did not enjoy the NFL veteran's statement. He believes Kaepernick’s socks dishonoured his officers.
“It’s just ridiculous that the same league that prohibits the Dallas [Cowboys] football club from honoring the slain officers in their community with their uniforms stands silent when Kaepernick is dishonouring police officers with what he’s wearing on the field,” Johnson said, according to USA Today Sports. “I think the league is in a downward spiral regarding their obligations to the public under [commissioner] Roger Goodell, and this is just another example of that.”
Kaepernick was also asked if he intends to continue sitting during the national anthem moving forward. Although it isn't clear what has to change in order for him to stand, it's evident that something has to.
“I’ll continue to sit,” he told NFL Media. “I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change, and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
For the record, the NFL encourage players to stand for the national anthem, but it is not compulsory. The day Kaepernick chooses to stand again is sure to be a significant moment indeed.