In response to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s continuing activism against racial injustice and police brutality, the Santa Clara Police union has allegedly threatened to boycott providing their services to the organization on game days.
According to a report by NBC Bay Area, members of the police union penned a letter urging the 49ers organization to take action against the outspoken Kaepernick, who has been critical of the current state of policing-particular in regards to the treatment of minorities in recent weeks.
On top of claiming that officers may choose not to work at 49ers home games, the letter allegedly continues to state:
“The board of directors of the Santa Clara Police Officer’s Association has a duty to protect its members and work to make all of their workings environments free of harassing behavior.”
Kaepernick has been a source of controversy after the veteran chose to make his dismay with the current social and political climate known by electing to sit, and more recently take a knee during the singing of the national anthem.
In response to the outrage, he has held lengthy conversations with Bay Area reporters in which he defended his actions by decrying the killing of minorities at the hands of police officers that have made waves throughout the nation in recent times.
The quarterback was also seen wearing socks that depicted pigs wearing police uniforms during the 49ers’ public practice at Kezar Stadium on August 10th.
Speaking in front of his locker prior to Thursday’s game, Kaepernick said:
“People of color have been targeted by police, so that’s a large part of it. And they’re government officials. They’re put in place by the government, so that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable, make those standards higher. You have people who practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and you don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone who is holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.”
In a statement that gained 34.3 thousand likes on the his Instagram account, Kaepernick posted a response defending his decision to wear the seemingly disrespectful socks:
“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.”
In an effort to address the criticism that his words, and his refusal to stand for the national anthem, were disrespectful to the military, Kaepernick chose to alter his form of protest ahead of last night’s game by kneeling during the national anthem instead of sitting.
Kaepernick was later seen standing during the singing of “God Bless America,” on a night in which the Chargers decided to honor the many military members in the San Diego area.
While he has since stated that he never intended to disrespect members of the armed forces, his stance against police violence has not waned as he continues to field questions from reporters.
Both the league and the 49ers organization have issued statements defending Kaepernick’s right to refuse to stand during the national anthem, as well as his right to exercise his first amendment rights, making it likely that any punishment will be handed down from either entity.
After a solid showing during last night’s game in which the quarterback completed 11-of-18 passes for 103-yards, it appears unlikely at this point that the 49ers dismiss him ahead of tomorrow’s mandatory roster cuts as well.