It’s been a minute since we’ve heard anything from Colin Kaepernick, but now the former NFL quarterback is speaking out once again. During a virtual conference this week, Kaepernick lent his support to the release of former Black Panthers member Mumia Abu-Jamal.
In 1982, Abu-Jamal was convicted for the killing of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner the year prior. He was initially sentenced to death, though that original sentence was overturned on appeal and converted to a lifetime term in 2011. Mumia Abu-Jamal has now served 38 years of that life sentence at a southwest Philadelphia prison. He has become an author and activist during that time, though he has not avoided controversy.
“When I was invited to speak on behalf of Mumia, one of the first things that came to mind was has been how long he’s been in prison. How many years of his life has been stolen away from him, his community and his loved ones?” the former quarterback wondered. “Mumia has been in prison longer than I’ve been alive.”
“Today we’re living through a moment where it’s acceptable to paint ‘end racism now’ in front of the Philadelphia Police Department’s 26th district headquarters, and yet a political prisoner who has since the age of 14 dedicated his life to fighting against racism, continues to be caged and lives his life on a slow death row. We’re in the midst of a movement that says Black Lives Matter. And if that’s truly the case, then it means that Mumia’s life and legacy must matter.”
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Colin Kaepernick was criticized for his comments supporting Mumia Abu-Jamal. One of the primary sources of criticism came from a Facebook group of over 17,000 members which is dedicated to the memory of Faulkner.
“The video shows Kaepernick truly has no knowledge on the true facts and evidence of his conviction,” a post on the group page reads. “The ignorance of Kaepernick is a disgrace.”
Colin Kaepernick continues to be very polarizing. He became a full time activist since being blackballed from the NFL and he’s definitely making an impact.
Whether you agree with his politics, those of the Black Panthers or those of the NFL, you have to at least give Kaepernick credit for speaking his mind.
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