San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been all over the news in recent days after announcing that he would no longer stand for the national anthem because America “oppresses” black people and stands by as its police “murder” innocent black men and get paid leave for doing so. The San Francisco police union has now responded to Kaepernick’s “incredible lack of knowledge” and “foolish” accusations against police.
Despite getting benched last year for his poor play, Kaepernick has managed to make himself the center of attention of the 49ers franchise nonetheless by condemning the entire country as unworthy of his respect or allegiance for condoning what he describes as rampant “targeting” of people of color by police.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said Friday. “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.”
He expanded on his accusations against police on Sunday.
“There is police brutality — people of color have been targeted by police,” said Kaepernick, citing no hard statistics (and certainly not mentioning this Harvard study which shows no racial bias in police shootings). “That’s a large part of it. [The police] are government officials. They are put in place by the government so that’s something that the country has to change. There are things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher…You have people who practice law, lawyers, who go to school for 8 years, but you can be a cop in 6 months. You don’t have to do the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. I mean someone with a curling iron has more education and training than people who have a gun. That’s insane.”
In response, the San Francisco Police Officers Association issued a statement smacking Kaepernick for his ill-informed accusations and calling on the 49ers to “denounce” the QB’s anti-police stance.
The SFPOA said in its letter that it “will not stand by” while the QB “attacks police officers in this country” and slammed him for his “incredible lack of knowledge regarding our profession and officer-involved shootings” and his “naivety and total lack of sensitivity towards police officers.”
As for the 49ers franchise, the police union called on them to further “separate” themselves from his actions and “denounce his foolish statements.”
“While the SFPOA acknowledges Mr. Kaepernick’s right to speak his point of view and we stand by this right, we also recognize your organization’s ability to denounce his foolish statements and separate yourself from his actions,” said the SFPOA.
The letter closes by challenging Kaepernick to come and actually see firsthand what takes place in the police academy.
Meanwhile, another NFL player, Myke Tavarres, has declared that he will be joining Kaepernick in his condemnation of police and the entire country at the beginning of games. (Update: Tavarres has apparently changed his mind.)
Read the full SFPOA letter here.