His story was chronicled by Al Pacino in the 1973 movie Serpico. The 81-year-old admitted not being a football fan but said he felt it was important to support Kaepernick for his stance. “He’s trying to hold up this government up to our founding fathers,” Serpico said at the presser, (see video below of press conference in its entirety).
The former San Francisco 49ers player became a controversial figure last year after he refused to stand for the national anthem in what he called a protest against the oppression of people of color. Kaepernick finds himself without an NFL job so far this year after he began kneeling during the National Anthem before games last season.
Because Colin Kaepernick took a knee, these members of black law enforcement dressed in black t-shirts with #IMWITHKAP on the front let him and the world know, they have his back. Law enforcers past and present turned out Saturday in a show of support for the 29-year-old NFL quarterback without a team to call home — whose public stance against racism and police violence preceded his current unemployment.
“What Colin Kaepernick did is try to bring awareness that this nation, unfortunately, has ignored for far too long,” said NYPD Sgt. Edwin Raymond, who helped organize the rally near the Brooklyn bridge. “And that’s the issue of racism in America and policing in America. We decided to gather here today because of the way he’s being railroaded for speaking the obvious truth.”
Kaepernick is being punished for not standing for a song the poet and lyricist Francis Scott Key sang in 1814 for freedom while enslaving blacks. His hatred even bled into the lyrics of the elongated version of “The Star Spangled Banner” you won’t hear at a sporting event. The third stanza reads …
“No refuge could save the hireling and slave, From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave”
That line was basically a shot at the slaves who agreed to fight with the British in exchange for their freedom. Who wouldn’t want freedom, and how could he not understand them opting out for a better life?
A song that retired NYPD Inspector and Author of Once A Cop, Corey Pegues stated at the presser; “March 3, 1931, Congress passed a resolution for us to sing the national anthem, making it officially the song of the United States. I also noticed that Black people couldn’t vote in 1931. So let’s be very clear when the Constitution was written, it didn’t include us. I’m not just talking about law enforcement now, I’m talking about Black People… it did not include us…”
AJ is a Father, Author, Writer, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
You can also hear AJ every Thursday morning at 7:20 A.M. on Good Morning Westchester with host Bob Marrone on WVOX