Colin Kaepernick on Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict: 'White Supremacy Cannot be Reformed'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 19, 2021

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 19:  Kyle Rittenhouse enters the courtroom to hear the verdicts in his trial prior to being found not guilty on all counts at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 19, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse was found not guilty of all charges in the shooting of three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, claimed self-defense who at the time of the shooting was armed with an assault rifle.  (Photo by Sean Krajacic - Pool/Getty Images)
Sean Krajacic - Pool/Getty Images

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick reacted to the outcome of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial after the jury found him not guilty on all counts: 

Colin Kaepernick @Kaepernick7

We just witnessed a system built on white supremacy validate the terroristic acts of a white supremacist. <br><br>This only further validates the need to abolish our current system. White supremacy cannot be reformed.

Rittenhouse was acquitted on five charges—first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety—after shooting and killing Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz during protests for racial justice in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020.

Rittenhouse contended in court he shot the men in self-defense.

A number of current and former athletes joined Kaepernick in decrying the jury's verdict:

Natasha Cloud @T_Cloud4

I can’t protect my children from white supremacy. I can’t protect them from the police. I can’t protect them from the justice system. No matter how well we raise them, we can’t protect them. <a href="https://twitter.com/ALESHIAOCASIO?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ALESHIAOCASIO</a>

Ja Morant @JaMorant

not surprised at all , smh ...

Robert Griffin III @RGIII

Kyle Rittennhouse can kill without a sliver of doubt &amp; walk free but Julius Jones is in jail for life without the chance for parole after being on death row for 20 years with all types of doubt in his case. What is Justice? God help us.

Bubba Wallace @BubbaWallace

Ha, let the boy be black and it would’ve been life…hell he would’ve had his life taken before the bullshit trial.. sad

🏁 Jamal Crawford @JCrossover

Guess the forced tears worked..

Chiney Ogwumike @chiney

𝘿𝙞𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙩 outcomes from our justice system this week, but one thing remains the 𝙨𝙖𝙢𝙚: we still have a lot of work to do.<br><br>Yet again, a necessary reminder that social justice is not a 𝙢𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩, it is a 𝙢𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩.

Brianna Turner @_Breezy_Briii

I bet the judge will be the first to take Kyle Rittenhouse for dinner to celebrate all that he’s accomplished this past year 😐 insane how much our judicial system varies based on physical traits of the defendant. Disappointed but not surprised.

Brianna Turner @_Breezy_Briii

Also confused why so many of the All Lives Matter crowd were so vehemently defending Rittenhouse, when he literally went out of his way to kill two people when he should of been at home minding his business. It’s almost like the all lives matter statement is conditional 🤔🤯

Rittenhouse, who lives in Illinois and was 17 at the time, traveled across state lines with a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle, claiming he was there to help protect businesses during protesting in Kenosha after Jacob Blake was shot by police, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. 

He claimed that Rosenbaum, Huber and Grosskreutz had attacked him and he was defending himself. Prosecutors argued that Rittenhouse chose to bring a deadly weapon to the protests, and Grosskreutz said he was trying to disarm Rittenhouse. 

The case and verdict are the latest in a long list of situations that have brought discussions of racial injustice, gun control and the justice system into the national spotlight.

Kaepernick found himself at the center of a divisive issue in 2016 when he kneeled during the national anthem before NFL games in protest of police brutality and racial injustice. He went unsigned after that season, and he and his supporters have argued he was blacklisted by the league's owners for expressing his political beliefs.

He has advocated for racial justice and police and prison abolition and, with his partner Nessa Diab, established the Know Your Rights Camp, an organization that aims to educate young people of color on their rights, health, financial literacy and leadership. The organization also created a legal defense initiative for protesters and a COVID-19 relief fund.