A famed New York City Police Department detective rallied with dozens of his colleagues on Saturday to help NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a current league free agent, get signed to a team.
Kaepernick is the former starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and created a wave of controversy about one year ago after he began his infamous national anthem protest, which involved him kneeling during the playing of the anthem. He began the protest to bring attention to police brutality in the United States.
According to the Associated Press, about 75 police officers rallied together in Brooklyn wearing matching black T-shirts that read, "#imwithkap," on the front. The AP reported the officers who gathered were "mostly minority."
Members of #nyc law enforcement joined @JumaaneWilliams in #Brooklyn today to send this message about @Kaepernick7.… https://t.co/JHsN54M8e6— Spectrum News NY1 (@Spectrum News NY1) 1503158603.0
While nearly all of those who gathered were a minority, one exception came in the form of 81-year-old retired NYPD detective Frank Serpico, who is known for his work in exposing deep corruption in the NYPD more than 40 years ago.
"He's trying to hold up this government up to our founding fathers," Serpico said of Kaepernick.
Serpico told the AP that although he isn't a fan of American football, he believes it's important for him to stand with Kaepernick.
An issue "ignored for far too long"
NYPD Sgt. Edwin Raymond, who was leaving for work duties after the rally, explained that racial reconciliation is something our country has long needed, yet it has been ignored for just as long.
"What Colin Kaepernick did is try to bring awareness that this nation unfortunately has ignored for far too long," Raymond told the New York Daily News.
"And that's the issue of racism in America and policing in America. We decided to gather here today because of the way he's being railroaded for speaking the obvious truth," he explained.
At the end of the rally, the cops made a physical solidified stance with Kaepernick.
"Near the end of the rally, all involved raised their fists and took a synchronized knee in support of the one-time San Francisco starter," the Daily News reported.
Contrary to what many believe, Kaepernick was not fired from his former team, which he led to the super bowl in 2013. Rather, he opted out of an option-year in his contract.
He remains unsigned just weeks away from the start of the 2017 regular season. Kaepernick's supporters say the NFL has blackballed him over his unpopular protest, but league commissioner Roger Goodell said recently that the accusations aren't true.
"He can't be because we're not," Goodell said last month. "The clubs are making those individual evaluations."
Goodell's comments came after several teams considered signing Kaepernick, but ultimately chose to go with someone else.