Several people this year, including a police officer, may have thought their Colin Kaepernick costumes would be a scream this Halloween, but apparently, not everyone was amused.
In one case of a costume gone awry, the University of Nevada Police Department was forced to apologize officially for an officer who slapped on a painted-on beard, a false nose, and an afro wig to go with his Colin Kaepernick number 7 jersey. The officer also held a sign saying “will stand for food.”
But the humor was lost on many as a photo of the officer began making its way around social media.
The department did not release the name of the officer in the Kaepernick get up, though sources later identified him as officer Antonio Gutierrez. Chief Adam Garcia did issue an apology saying that some felt the costume was “insensitive,” the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.
— Heavy.com (@HeavySan) October 31, 2017
“For those who have seen the Halloween costume of one of our officers apparently mocking a citizen who has chosen to take advantage of his constitutional right to protest, I offer my sincere apologies,” Garcia told the community.
“Members of our profession are held to a higher standard and denigrating another – on or off duty – is insensitive for its lack of respect and lack understanding on how others may negatively view their actions and may be impacted,” Garcia added.
“Behavior such as this magnifies unsafe feelings and lack of trust in police, especially when that individual is responsible for the safety of all members of the University, regardless of color, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion. At a time when officers should be heightened in their attentiveness to perception by our community, this act seems extremely out of touch with those sentiments and reflects poorly on all of us,” a department statement read.
The incident in Nevada wasn’t the only such incident, though.
In another incident on a college campus, South Dakota State University student Cole Paulson was forced to apologize when his Kaepernick costume included black face paint, the Argus Leader reported.
Paulson insisted that he did not intend to be “racist” with his costume.
— AFROPUNK (@afropunk) October 30, 2017
“I will be completely honest and tell you I was ignorant to the fact as to painting my face like that was racist,” Paulson explained. “It was in no way my intention to offend the African American community, and I have read many articles and documents since to educate myself on why it was wrong of me to do what I did. I also never left the confines of my home with that paint on my face. I was contacted almost immediately about how it was wrong and proceeded to wash it off before I went anywhere. I wholeheartedly apologize as I feel horrible about my ignorance and offending many people I respect.”
University officials were not prepared Tuesday to say if they intended to take any actions against Paulson for his “humorous” costume choice.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.