As if the bitterness against Colin Kaepernick for his kneeling protests during the national anthem weren’t enough, now someone has decided to make money off of it.
T-shirts depicting the San Francisco 49ers quarterback in a gun sight, with a caption that read: “Wanted: Notorious Disgrace to America being sold by a vendor outside New Era Field in Buffalo during the Niners game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Another makes a vulgar reference toward him. The vendor is not connected to the Bills organization, SFGate.com reported.
Kaepernick has received everything from criticism for his decision to kneel as the anthem plays before games to death threats. He has said that he makes the gesture in response to injustices against African-Americans who are killed by police. Athletes on other teams and in college and high school football teams have followed suit. He continued his protest before starting as quarterback in the game against the Bills, which the Niners lost, 45-26.
The racially charged anger toward Kaepernick was on display as one Bills fan reportedly threw a beer at him, but was escorted out of the stadium. Others had a piñata that resembled him.
Sports Illustrated writer Robert Klemko posted a video on Twitter showing fans cheering and chanting as a woman tackles a dummy dressed as Kaepernick. His tweet says they shouted “tackle the Muslim.” Kaepernick said last month that rumors of his conversion to Islam are false and attributed them to Islamophobia.
Bills fans scream “tackle the Muslim”, then a young lady obliges. pic.twitter.com/A1eKcyWT87
— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) October 16, 2016
Kaepernick himself, showed up to the venue wearing a Muhammad Ali t-shirt, whom the quarterback has been compared to in the ongoing controversy. In 1967, Ali was convicted of draft evasion, fined and banned from boxing for three years for his refusal to register for the draft in protest of the Vietnam War. ESPN reporter Josina Anderson shot video of Kaepernick entering New Era Field with the shirt on.
Here is video of #49ers QB Colin Kaepernick arriving at #NewEraField for his first start since Week 8 of the 2015 season. pic.twitter.com/fX9XF8BlU2 — Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) October 16, 2016
In his first start since last season, replacing Blaine Gabbert, Kaepernick threw 13 of 29 completions for 187 yards and a touchdown, Sports Illustrated reported. It is unclear currently whether or not Niners’ coach Chip Kelly will put Kaepernick in as starter next week during the team’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Sunday.