Navy SEALs Investigating Colin Kaepernick Jersey Used in K-9 Training Demo

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2019, file photo, free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick arrives for a workout for NFL football scouts and media in Riverdale, Ga. Kaepernick has been a leader in the fight for social justice by people of color not just in the football world or the sports world. Recent developments have raised his profile and, more significantly, reminded many of the sacrifices he has made while protesting social injustice and police brutality.(AP Photo/Todd Kirkland, File)
Todd Kirkland/Associated Press

The Navy SEALs are planning an investigation after videos surfaced online of dogs attacking a man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey in a K-9 demonstration during a fundraising event last year. 

"We became aware today of a video of a Navy SEAL Museum event posted last year with a military working dog demonstration," the SEALs said in a statement. "In the demonstration, the target is wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey. The inherent message of this video is completely inconsistent with the values and ethos of Naval Special Warfare and the U.S. Navy.

"We are investigating the matter fully, and initial indications are that there were no active duty Navy personnel or equipment involved with this independent organization's event."

The videos, which were originally taken in January 2019 but went viral on Twitter over the weekend, shows the dogs attacking and taking down a man wearing the Kaepernick jersey. In one of the videos, the man wearing the jersey says, "Oh man, I will stand," to the laughter of the crowd.

The man wearing the jersey was referencing Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality against Black people. Though Kaepernick consulted with Army Green Beret Nate Boyer on his form of protest, some have viewed his kneeling during the anthem as disrespectful toward military members.

No NFL team has signed Kaepernick for the last three seasons, in large part because of the controversy his form of protest caused. Kaepernick and the NFL settled a collusion lawsuit last year, in which he alleged the league's owners blackballed him. While there is still a vocal minority opposed to kneeling during the anthem, public sentiment on the act has shifted greatly following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery this year.

The NFL, which attempted to change its rules in 2018 to prevent kneeling, recently changed course and said it supports all forms of peaceful protest.