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Colin Kaepernick compares American police to fugitive slave patrols — and the backlash is immediate

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was criticized heavily for comparing modern American police to fugitive slave patrols. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick came under fire this weekend after he compared American police to the fugitive slave patrols of the 19th century.

Kaepernick tweeted a picture juxtaposing a “fugitive slave patrol” badge, presumably worn by those who captured — and often killed — runaway slaves in the south, with a modern sheriff’s star inscribed with the words “police officer."

“You can’t ignore your history,” the picture reads, “always remember who they are."

Kaepernick added in his tweet: "A system that perpetually condones the killing of people, without consequence, doesn't need to be revised, it needs to be dismantled!"

Kaepernick posted the image Friday evening after a Minnesota police officer was acquitted in the July 2016 shooting of Philando Castile.

Castile’s case was particularly controversial because his girlfriend was streaming to Facebook live after St. Anthony police office Jeronimo Yanez pulled his service pistol and fatally shot Castile seven times as her young daughter sat in the backseat of the car.

Yanez said he stopped Castile and his girlfriend because Castile fit the description of a robbery suspect, although it was later determined that Castile was not the man police were searching for.

Yanez was eventually charged with second-degree manslaughter in the shooting, but a jury of his peers, who were tasked with deciding the level of culpable negligence he demonstrated by using lethal force against Castile, cleared Yanez of all charges.

Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013, was cut from the 49ers after last season and hasn’t been signed by another team.

Many Kaepernick supporters believe the NFL is punishing the quarterback for drawing unwanted attention on the league when he began a controversial protest last year, refusing to stand for the national anthem before games.

Kaepernick began his protest to bring attention to what he sees as police brutality in America, particularly against minorities and people of color. He continued his kneeling protest through the duration of last season.

The backlash to Kaepernick’s tweet was instantaneous and many said Kaepernick's tweet was representative of why an NFL team has yet to sign him:

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