Navy SEALs end ties with museum over video of dogs attacking man in Kaepernick jersey

Navy SEALs end ties with museum over video of dogs attacking man in Kaepernick jersey
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The U.S. Navy SEALs have reportedly cut ties with an independent Navy SEAL museum after video surfaced over the weekend showing dogs participating in a demonstration in which they attacked a man in a Colin Kaepernick jersey. 

Rear Adm. Collin Green, who heads the Naval Special Warfare Command, said in an email to the forces that the video damaged the unit's reputation as one that protects "our fellow Americans — ALL Americans," The Associated Press reported.

"Even the perception that our commitment to serving the men and women of this nation is applied unevenly is destructive,” Green said. “We will revisit our relationship with the Museum when I am convinced that they have made the necessary changes to ensure this type of behavior does not happen again.”

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The announcement came after clips from an event at the National Navy SEAL Museum, a nonprofit organization based in Fort Pierce, Fla., resurfaced on social media over the weekend.

In one of the videos, which was filmed in 2018, four K-9 dogs were ordered to attack a man wearing a San Francisco 49ers Kaepernick jersey on top of his protective equipment. The clip had garnered nearly 7 million views on Twitter as of Tuesday afternoon. 

The Navy SEALs on Monday announced that it was initiating an investigation into the matter, noting that "the inherent message of this video is completely inconsistent with the values and ethos of Naval Special Warfare and the U.S. Navy."

In his email, Green said that the participants in the demonstration were contracted employees from outside the Defense Department, but held that "in many ways, these facts are irrelevant."

“We may not have contributed to the misperception in this case, but we suffer from it and will not allow it to continue,” he said, according to the AP.

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The Naval Special Warfare Command and the Navy SEAL Museum did not immediately return requests for comment from The Hill.

The Navy SEAL Museum, which opened in 1985, says on its website that its main objective is to promote the history of the elite forces unit and to honor those who have died. The museum has not commented on the demonstration or who was involved since videos resurfaced online. 

Video of the demonstration was met with intense criticism online considering Kaepernick's outspoken stance on issues related to police brutality and racial injustice. The former San Francisco 49er became the first professional athlete to take a knee during the national anthem in 2016 to protest against racial inequities in the U.S.

The demonstration quickly became a flashpoint in the country, with people including President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE denouncing Kaepernick and other athletes who took part in the demonstration.

Kaepernick has not signed with an NFL franchise since the 2016 season.

The protest he launched has garnered renewed attention amid nationwide demonstrations following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police in May. People taking a knee at protests became a common sight at demonstrations in cities across the U.S.

Dozens of athletes and coaches have also taken a knee during the national anthem since professional sports returned last month.