Colin Kaepernick was protesting social issues before last week when he did not stand for the national anthem at the San Francisco 49ers' third preseason game.
At a practice earlier this month, Kaepernick wore socks that had cartoon pigs wearing police hats on them. Even though the pictures are from Aug. 10, the images began to circulate Thursday while people continue to debate the quarterback's means of protesting.
Thursday, Kaepernick released a statement on Instagram regarding the socks. The quarterback said he has worn these socks before to protest "rogue cops."
"I wore these socks, in the past, because the rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust. I have two uncles and friends who are police officers and work to protect and serve ALL people. So before these socks, which were worn before I took my public stance, are used to distract from the real issues, I wanted to address this immediately."
The executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, one of the largest police organizations in the country, blasted Kaepernick and the NFL for continually demeaning police officers.
“It’s just ridiculous that the same league that prohibits the Dallas (Cowboys) football club from honoring the slain officers in their community with their uniforms stands silent when Kaepernick is dishonoring police officers with what he’s wearing on the field," Johnson told USA TODAY Sports.
The Cowboys wanted to honor the police officers killed in an attack in Dallas in July, but were denied by the NFL.
The 49ers play their final preseason game in San Diego against the Chargers Thursday. It will be interesting to see how fans react at Qualcomm Stadium when Navy officers perform the national anthem while 240 military personnel wave a large flag across the field, according to USA TODAY Sports.
Kaepernick said he will continue to sit until he feels like feels like there is progress. He said after last week's game that he sat because he would not stand for the anthem of a country that oppresses black people.