SAN DIEGO, Calif. (The Sports Xchange) – The head of the national police organization blasted San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the NFL on Thursday after learning that Kaepernick had worn socks that display cartoon pigs wearing police hats.
“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,” Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations told USA Today Sports.
“I think the league is in a downward spiral regarding their obligations to the public under (NFL commissioner) Roger Goodell, and this is just another example of that.”
Kaepernick has come under fire for his refusal to stand for the national anthem, citing racial inequality for the reason for his protest.
While the NFL was waiting to provide an official response to Kaepernick’s choice of apparel until after the completion of 49ers’ preseason game versus San Diego on Thursday night, the quarterback took to social media to defend himself.
“I wore those 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,” Kaepernick wrote on Instagram.
“I have two uncles and friends who are police officers and work to protect and serve ALL people. So before those socks, which were worn before I took my public stance, are used to distract from the real issues, I wanted to address this immediately.”
Johnson, whose organization represents more than 240,000 active law enforcement officers, called Kaepernick’s decision to wear the socks “disrespectful.”
“It doesn’t seem like he’s thought through or bothered to educate himself about the way (law enforcement officers) are out there trying to do a very difficult job, and the vast majority of the time get the job done right,” Johnson said.
Johnson also took aim at the NFL for its lack of involvement in both this matter as well as singer Beyonce’s performance that appeared to take an anti-police stance during the halftime show at Super Bowl 50.
“I expect more from the NFL,” Johnson said. “The NFL has exhibited — it’s not just tone deafness, it seems to be an act of dislike of police, frankly.”