With the regular season approaching and quarterback Colin Kaepernick still absent from an National Football League roster, a civil rights organization and dozens of police officers are among the latest who've expressed support for him.
Speakers, including City Councilman Jumaane D. Williams, Democrat of Brooklyn, linked the backlash against Kaepernick's gesture - no team has signed the quarterback for this season - to the violence last weekend during a white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Va., and more generally to issues of police accountability.
Saturday's gathering in Brooklyn featured about 75 mostly minority officers wearing the black #imwithkap T-shirts. Al Pacino portrayed him in the film "Serpico".
The 29-year-old Kaepernick is now unable to find work with an NFL team after drawing controversy last year when he refused to stand for the national anthem before games. He became famous in the 1970s for alleging NYPD corruption.
"He's trying to hold up this government up to our founding fathers", Serpico said.
He admitted not being a football fan, but said he felt it was important to support Kaepernick for his stance. At the end of the rally, they raised their fist and took a knee, much as Kaepernick did during the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season.
Suspicions have long swirled that fellow officers failed to provide Serpico with backup that night and would not call for help after he was shot as revenge for speaking out against the department. He was protesting police brutality.
A local lawmaker was joined by 100 law enforcement officers, who took a stand in solidarity with Kaepernick. Seargent Edwin Raymond explained to the New York Daily News, "What Colin Kaepernick did is try to bring awareness that this nation, unfortunately, has ignored for far too long..." This is a demand.and if Mr. Kaepernick is not allowed to pursue his career, then on September the 17th, at 5:00, we are going to have the world's largest tailgate, and that tailgate will not go into Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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