Update: After setting social media ablaze Thursday, Colin Kaepernick explained the reason why he wore socks, which depicted police as pigs, during a San Francisco 49ers' practice early last month.
"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 mistrust," Kaepernick explained Thursday, as reported by TMZ Sports. "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."
Kaepernick donned the practice socks weeks before refusing to stand during the national anthem last Friday night.
On Thursday, photos of the San Francisco 49ers quarterback wearing practice socks, which depict cops as pigs, surfaced on social media.
Though the Sacramento Bee is reporting that the image was from a 49ers' practice early last month, the mere sight of it will definitely be more fodder for critics of the 28-year-old QB.
The timing of the photo surfacing on the internet is interesting, too, considering the 49ers are slated to visit the San Diego Chargers in preseason action on what the home team is calling its "military night" on Thursday night.
According to the Chargers' website, "military night" is described as "hundreds of thousands of current and retired military personnel who live and work in San Diego" being present for the festivities and game.
Entering the preseason clash, Kaepernick has already vowed to not stand during the national anthem once again, telling the media that his protest will continue indefinitely.
This comes after he explained his stance to a pool of reporters Sunday, two days after refusing to stand for the national anthem.
“When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent in this country, I’ll stand,” Kaepernick told the media Sunday, as reported by ABC News.
He added: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
That being said, Kaepernick cleared up any possible perception of him slighting military personnel by adding that he has "great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country."
A portion of U.S. military personnel is backing the 49ers QB with the social media hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick.
However, his stance accompanied with this new photo, depicting police as pigs, is already generating severe backlash on social media.
Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, didn't waste any time ripping Kaepernick for the socks.
“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. “I think the league is in a downward spiral regarding their obligations to the public under [commissioner] Roger Goodell and this is just another example of that."
All this being said, it will be intriguing to see how Kaepernick is received in San Diego tonight, while continuing his silent protest.
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(Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)