State Watch

GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin force Kaepernick’s name out of Black History Month resolution

Republican state lawmakers in Wisconsin agreed to pass a resolution honoring prominent African-American figures during Black History Month only after they reportedly blocked the measure until their black Democratic counterparts agreed to remove Colin Kaepernick’s name.

State Rep. Jim Steineke (R), the majority leader of the Wisconsin state Assembly, said his fellow Republicans wouldn’t support the resolution if it included Kaepernick’s name for “obvious reasons,” primarily his protests during the national anthem, USA Today reported on Wednesday.

{mosads}Democratic state Rep. LaKeshia Myers, who serves Kaepernick’s hometown of Milwaukee, said that the former San Francisco 49ers player “decided to take on ownership of a problem that he saw, which was police brutality,” according to the paper.

“Whether you dislike the method that he used, understand that it is a part of America’s DNA — not just African-Americans’ protest,” Myers, who was the only representative to vote against the measure, told the publication. 

Democratic Rep. David Crowley, who also serves Milwaukee and authored the resolution, called the Republicans’ refusal to sign onto a resolution including Kaepernick’s name a “slap in the face.”

It is “a textbook example of white privilege,” he continued.

“Many of these people that you don’t agree with will still be in the history books that your children and grandchildren will be reading,” Crowley said recently while speaking from the Assembly floor.

Crowley also said part of the reason Kaepernick was included in the measure was because he donated $25,000 to the nonprofit organization Urban Underground in Milwaukee that helps teens.

State Rep. Robin Vos (R), the Speaker of the Wisconsin state Assembly, said Republicans wanted the resolution to exclude controversial figures so that it could be supported by the entire legislature. 

“I think it’s important to recognize the contributions of literally thousands and thousands of African-Americans to our state’s history but also trying to find people who, again, bring us together,” Vos told the newspaper.

“Not look at people who draw some sort of vitriol from either side,” Vos added.

Kaepernick was the first NFL player to protest racial inequality and police brutality by taking a knee during the national anthem before NFL games in 2016.

He was frequently targeted by Trump and his base for protesting during the national anthem.

He later became a free agent when the 2016-17 season concluded and has not been signed by an NFL franchise since. 

In 2017, he filed a grievance against NFL owners and claimed they colluded to keep him out of the league.

Tags Black history month National anthem protests Wisconsin
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