Wisconsin excludes Colin Kaepernick from Black History Month


The Mirror

The Republican-led Legislature in Wisconsin recently removed Colin Kaepernick from the list of influential African Americans in Black History Month. Assembly Majority leader Jim Steineke has concerns about Kaepernick’s controversial status, and stated he should be removed “for obvious reasons.”

Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee to a single mother. He was later adopted to a white family and moved to California where he excelled at football and baseball.

In 2016, he made national news when he protested systematic racism by kneeling for the pre-game national anthem. This sprouted a nationwide movement of athletes kneeling for the national anthem. No football team has signed Kaepernick since the protest. He filed a lawsuit against the National Football League (NFL), accusing the owners of collusion. A settlement was reached with the NFL for an undisclosed amount.

Many supporters of Kaepernick’s inclusion in the list, including Sen. Lena Taylor and Sen. John Erpenbach, felt that systematic racism in the United States does exist and is a problem and Kaepernick’s actions are bringing attention to this issue. However, opponents claim Kaepernick is too controversial, and his display is too “anti-patriotic,” as Sen. Jim Steineke put it.

The Black Caucus of the Wisconsin State legislature drafted the first resolution to create this list which included the Wisconsin born Kaepernick. Republicans then amended the resolution to remove his name from the list. Due to the predicament, the Wisconsin Democrats were in, choosing to vote against the Black Caucus, or for a bill without Kaepernick that passed unanimously on February 12.

The Black Caucus’ original bill, with Kaepernick, was re-introduced one day later but was shut down by the state senate. Later that day the state senate then passed their bill officially creating the list without Kaepernick.