SAN LEANDRO (KPIX 5) – Facing a backlash over refusing to stand during the national anthem and his comments on police brutality, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is receiving a unique invitation to visit the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
“Cops are getting paid leave for killing people. That’s not right,” the quarterback said over the weekend, after refusing to stand when “The Star Spangled Banner” played at Friday’s preseason game against the Packers.
“You can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane,” Kaepernick went on to say.
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On Monday, the response from the law enforcement community was swift.
The Peace Officers Research Association called Kaepernick “noisy” and invited him on a ride-along with police “through streets that border on anarchy.”
The San Francisco Police Officers’s Association demanded that the NFL “apologize to the many police officers Mr. Kaepernick has disrespected.”
In a Facebook post, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office offered Kaepernick an invitation.
“We would like to cordially invite you to the Alameda County Regional Training Center…We invite you to meet with our current academies and veteran officers to talk to them about their experiences and yours,” the statement read.
Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the department told KPIX 5, “We all felt in the sheriff’s office that maybe he was speaking without exactly knowing what was going on so we made an offer to him to come out and view our academy, talk to our academy students.”
Nelson said the department is known for rigorous training and that deputies don’t patrol the streets until they have received roughly two years of training and employment at the county jail.
“We would rather have Mr. Kaepernick come out and observe what we do and we could learn from him and he could learn from us,” Nelson said.
Despite an avalanche of criticism, Kaepernick has his defenders, such as the activists with Silicon Valley De-Bug.
“What Colin Kaepernick’s actions show is that the issue of police brutality is ubiquitous, that it’s urgent, and affects all realms of public life,” said Raj Jayadev of Silicon Valley De-Bug.
Nelson says the department is not looking for an apology, but he did have this challenge to Kaepernick.
“Are you going to be a person that actually goes out and does something about it? Or are you going to be the proverbial Monday morning quarterback and criticize and do nothing about it?” he said.
Kaepernick has not responded to the department’s invitation.