Colin Kaepernick has had his share of critics for sitting during the national anthem, but Brooklyn’s got his back. The controversial San Francisco 49ers QB received some solidarity on Saturday during a rally where local Council Member Jumaane Williams joined law enforcement, including current and former members of the NYPD, to speak out.
The event drew around 100 supporters to Brooklyn Bridge Park, including an appearance by the famed Frank Serpico himself. Ralliers donned black T-shirts printed with the hashtag “#IMWITHKAP,” and chanted, “We support Kap!”
"All of the people behind me risk their lives, so to speak, to protect folks, and they are standing with Kaepernick because they understand how important it is to push back on the structure," Williams said during the rally, NY1 reported.
For Kaepernick, taking a stand meant not standing at all, an act of protest against ongoing police brutality. And cops at Saturday’s rally said he’s not wrong. "As members of law enforcement, we can confirm that the issues that he is saying exist in policing and throughout the criminal justice system,” said Edwin Raymond, an NYPD sergeant who organized the event.
Williams himself stirred controversy last year after remaining seated for the Pledge of Allegiance at meetings of the City Council, CNN reported. In a statement given at the time, he said, "This type of nonviolent protest is not disrespectful as some have suggested. [Kaepernick] deserves support, not criticism for his actions. What does it say about our country when there is a national outrage over an athlete sitting out the national anthem, but the same outrage isn't expressed when a young black man is killed for no reason?"
Here are some of the social media reactions regarding Saturday's rally:
Anyone who blurts out reasons to not like Colin K is likely an uneducated white male and hasn't ever had to fear for his life. #ImWithKap— Sarah Stuart Walters (@rahstuwalt) August 20, 2017
Metro staff reporter Nikki M. Mascali contributed to this report.