SANTA CLARA (KTVU) - The chief of the Santa Clara Police Department responded Saturday to threats from a police union regarding outspoken 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Chief Mike Sellers told KTVU he disagreed with Kaepernick’s viewpoint on the police, but criticized the Santa Clara Police Officers Association for telling the 49ers that some of its members were so offended by the star quarterback, they may not show up for work.
“Law enforcement is there to protect everybody,” Chief Seller said. “[Kaepernick’s behavior] is disrespectful but I think it’s important for everyone in law enforcement to remember he has a first amendment right. We are here to uphold the constitution and we’ve taken an oath to do so.”
On Friday the police union wrote a letter to the NFL and 49ers CEO Jed York outlining several statements made by Kaepernick that officers have found offensive, including a comment that police officers are, “getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” The letter also cited a photo of Kaepernick at practice wearing socks that depicted police as pigs.
“These intentional acts and inflammatory statements made by Mr. Kaepernick are insulting to our members,” the letter stated. “If the 49ers organization fails to stop this type of inappropriate workplace behavior, it could result in police officers choosing not to work at your facilities.”
A spokesman for the 49ers told KTVU the team had no comment on the matter.