The San Francisco Police Officers Association (SFPOA) sent a letter objecting to Colin Kaepernick’s verbal attacks on police to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York calling on the pair to “denounce his foolish statements.”
The quarterback’s remarks came by way of explaining his motivation for sitting during the national anthem before a 21-10 49ers loss to the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium on Friday. He claimed that he experienced racial profiling when police drew weapons on him in college and that cosmetologists receive more training than cops. He maintained, “Someone that’s 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.”
The SFPOA says that “Mr. Kaepernick has embarrassed himself, the 49er organization, and the NFL” through such comments. The letter calls on the team and the league to denounce the passer fighting for his job as he fights for social justice.
“Perhaps he could lend his commentary to the over 8,000 murders that African Americans inflicted on one another in 2015,” SFPOA President Martin Halloran writes in the letter. “The law enforcement community cannot be continuously blamed for all of society’s problems, including racial divide, in our country. It isn’t fair and it isn’t true.”
Kaepernick’s remarks on Sunday targeted cops, who he says target people of color. “There’s a lot of things that need to change,” Kaepaernick declared. “One specifically? Police brutality. There’s people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. People are being given paid leave for killing people. That’s not right.”
Halloran’s missive invites Kaepernick and other NFL players to the local police academy to participate in simulation training that prepares recruits for the law enforcement profession.
While we certainly acknowledge Mr. Kaepernick’s first amendment right to remain seated during the National Anthem, as inappropriate as that may be, we will not stand by as he attacks police officers in this country with statements such as, ‘People are on paid leave while people of color are killed.’
Not only does he show an incredible lack of knowledge regarding our profession and ‘officer involved’ shootings, but also shows a naivety and total lack of sensitivity toward police officers. Ironically, it is those officers who on numerous occasions have protected Mr. Kaepernick and have ensured that the venues where the NFL holds its events are fully protected.
On Sunday, Kaepernick promised to continue sitting during the national anthem until “change” occurs to his satisfaction. The quarterback looks to sit during the song again on Thursday in San Diego, home to numerous Navy and Marine Corps installations as well as the Chargers.