SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - A group of protesters came to 49er’s Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s defense. On Wednesday, a group of around 54 gathered outside the San Francisco Police Officers Association building and called for them to apologize to Kaepernick.
Leaders with the Black Lives Matter movement were present and said Kaepernick, who refused to stand during the National Anthem last week and who later claimed it takes more training to be a cosmetologist than to be a police officer and said they are “getting away with murder”, shouldn’t be the one to say sorry. It was the SFPOA who initially demanded an apology.
“Where's your apology for the murder of Mario Woods? Where's your apology for the murder of Alex Nieto?” said Christopher Muhammad, a minister with the Nation of Islam.
“The POA asking him to apologize was outrageous,” said Civil Rights Attorney John Burris. “Colin probably has reached a point where he couldn't take it anymore because as a young person, he himself— if he wasn't Colin Kaepernick, he could be the victim of a shooting.”
“All they see is someone being defiant. He's not being defiant he's bringing awareness to the situation and the reality is that we all don't equally experience this country the same way,” said Ebony Isler with the Justice For Mario Woods Coalition.
The protesters consisted of members of the Mario Woods Coalition, the ACLU and the Public Defender's Office. They called on other famous African American athletes to take a stand as well.
The SFPOA released the following statement, but did not face the protesters:
"There's no doubt that we disagree with some of the more outrageous arguments made against our union by the protesters. But the bottom line is that the SFPOA is one of the most diverse police unions in the country, and our 2100 members are committed to fighting racism in all its forms. Racism is not welcome in our ranks.
“Colin Kaepernick is my son,” said Cristina Ramirez. Protesters say the NFL player has shined a light on a nationwide problem— that is systemic racism within police departments and the need for reforms to stop deadly officer-involved shootings.
They say even if Kaepernick is cut from the 49ers, that he’s made a difference.
“He's done his job, and if he never does anything else in life, he has already etched his name in the history books of our struggle,” said Muhammad.