San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being criticized by law enforcement for donning a pair of pig police officer socks as practice apparel.
The socks show cartoon images of pigs wearing police officer hats. While the socks are just now receiving attention, the 49ers quarterback first wore them to practice on Aug. 10, and has since worn to practice at least twice since, according to CSN Bay Area.
Both Kaepernick’s socks and the NFL were criticized by Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations.
Johnson says that he can’t fathom why such socks are allowed while the Dallas Cowboys were denied by the NFL in July from wearing a decal on their helmets to honor police officers slain in the Dallas police shootings.
“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 (Commissioner) Roger Goodell,” added Johnson, “and this is just another example of that.”
Kaepernick responded to the attention that his footwear has drawn. On Instagram, Kaepernick wrote that the socks are meant to single out the “rogue cops” that smear the image of police that perform their jobs professionally. He also writes that he doesn’t want the socks to cause a distraction from “real issues.”
Kaepernick has drawn a lot of coverage since his refusal to stand for the National Anthem before NFL games.
Kaepernick started the act in a preseason game versus the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 26, and continued on Sept. 1 against the Chargers, where he was met with a chorus of boos from the Chargers crowd. On Thursday, Kaepernick was joined in his silent protest by teammate Eric Reid. Regarding his purpose, Kaepernick has said in a statement, “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.”
It was announced on Sept. 3 that Kaepernick had made the 49ers roster, though he will play backup to starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert.