The 49ers quarterback’s first start of the season sparked racism and Islamaphobia in the parking lot
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made his first NFL start Sunday since he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality. Kaepernick, who donned a Muhammad Ali shirt when entering New Era Field, completed 13 of 29 passes for one touchdown and ran for 88 yards in the team’s 45-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Home fans were not exactly welcoming. Kaepernick’s presence on field was met with boos, while tailgaters beat up an afro’d Kaepernick doll to chants of “tackle the Muslim,” unbeknownst to the fact that the quarterback is an avowed Christian.
Bills fans scream "tackle the Muslim", then a young lady obliges. https://t.co/A1eKcyWT87— Robert Klemko (@Robert Klemko)1476636779.0
Outside the stadium, a fan sold t-shirts featuring Kaepernick in the crosshairs of a gun. Another t-shirt referred to the quarterback as “Kaeperd--k” with text reading, “Shut Up And Stand Up!”
Shirts with a rifle scope trained on Colin Kaepernick selling for $10 outside of Ralph Wilson stadium. https://t.co/bSuxF3G5qq— Robert Klemko (@Robert Klemko)1476634766.0
Kaepernick did receive some support from those in Buffalo. A group of protestors in the parking lot brought signs reading “Bills Fans For Black Lives” and “Kneel for Racial Justice” and took a knee during the national anthem.
As #49ers QB Colin Kaepernick kneeled for the nat'l anthem, pics sent to me of the protest outside t/ stadium #Bills https://t.co/DwobxShfrE— ig: josinaanderson (@ig: josinaanderson)1476637498.0
After the game, Kaepernick made it clear he doesn’t plan to stop protesting anytime soon.
“There’s people’s lives being taken and affected by this on a daily basis,” Kaepernick told reporters. “I don’t understand what’s more American than fighting for liberty and justice for everybody, for the equality this country says it stands for.”
The 49ers return to San Francisco next weekend to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.