The Milwaukee Bucks’ walkout of Game 5 on Wednesday came exactly four years to the date of another historic moment.
Colin Kaepernick kneels during national anthem 4 years ago
Exactly four years ago — on Aug. 26, 2016 — Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem before the San Francisco 49ers’ preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium in California.
Four years ago today I took this photo, not knowing the full scale of what the importance and significance of it would be.— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) August 26, 2020
It is the only photo of Colin Kaepernick sitting during the National Anthem.
After speaking to Nate Boyer prior to the next game in San Diego, he knelt. pic.twitter.com/6wSiETv04M
He later switched to kneeling during the anthem.
The statement was the first of many Kaepernick make to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the U.S., the same type of message the Bucks sent Wednesday.
The Bucks — and the five other teams in the league — chose not to play because of the Jacob Blake shooting just south of Milwaukee on Sunday.
Police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, multiple times in the back as he was trying to get into his car, and the horrific incident was caught on video. An attorney for the Blake family said that his three children were in the car at the time of the shooting.
The incident quickly sparked widespread condemnation inside the sports world and out.
Kaepernick, who was born in Milwaukee, has not played in the league since that 2016 season despite repeated attempts to find a new team. His protesting drew severe backlash from the NFL, team owners and even President Donald Trump — though NFL commissioner Roger Goodell eventually apologized for not listening to Kaepernick and others in the league earlier. In recent months, however, kneeling during the national anthem in protest has become commonplace in sports.
Though athletes and others still feel the need to strongly protest and fight for the same issues four years later, it’s clear that the movement Kaepernick helped kick off is alive and well.
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