Hey isn’t that . . . former NFL quarterback (and the man who launched a leaguewide protest) Colin Kaepernick at the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum on Veterans Day?
Early Saturday, Kaepernick, who appears on the cover of GQ magazine’s December issue as “Citizen of the Year,” got a private tour of the museum by its founder, Frank Smith, before it opened to the public. The pair spent about an hour walking through the museum’s “Civil War to Civil Rights” exhibit. Afterward, the athlete participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial, which pays tribute to the more than 200,000 African American veterans of the Civil War.
“I wanted to pay homage and acknowledge our forgotten heroes,” wrote Kaepernick, who’s been accused of “disrespecting” the American flag and the U.S. military by critics including President Trump, in an Instagram post featuring video of the trip. The 30-year-old free agent sparked a larger movement last season as the first NFL player to take a knee during the national anthem in a silent protest of racial injustice.
Last year Kaepernick pledged to donate $1 million to organizations working in “oppressed communities.” In his Instagram post, the athlete wrote that some of those funds had been allocated to Black Veterans for Social Justice, an organization that provides “program services to assist military personnel making a smooth transition from active duty to civilian life,” according to its website. The former NFL player’s donation had been used to assist with job placement and housing.
“It’s amazing to see the courage and dedication of the veterans that fought for this country only to come home to continue fighting for their rights,” continued Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013 and has accused the league of colluding to keep him off the field since last season.
There’s no word yet on why Kaepernick was in Washington this weekend (we’re told he had a personal tour guide) or if the athlete/activist is still hanging around town.