SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — In a letter to San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York and the National Football League Monday, the San Francisco Police Officers Association slammed quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his comments about the behavior of police officers in his defense for sitting during the national anthem.
On Sunday, Kaepernick met with reporters and explained why he was taking his stand.
“There is police brutality — people of color have been targeted by police,” he said. “That’s a large part of it. They (the police officers) are government officials. They are put in place by the government so that’s something that the country has to change. There are things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher…You have people who practice law, lawyers, who go to school for 8 years, but you can be a cop in 6 months. You don’t have to do the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. I mean someone with a curling iron has more education and training than people who have a gun. That’s insane.”
In its letter to the 49ers and the NFL, the SFPOA said it “will not stand by while he (Kaepernick) attacks police officers in this country with statement such as ‘people are on paid leave while people of color are killed.'”
The organization said Kaepernick’s comments show the quarterback has “an incredible lack of knowledge regarding our profession and officer-involved shootings, but also shows a naivety and total lack of sensitivity towards police officers.”
The SFPOA asked the NFL and the 49ers to “separate” themselves from the comments.
“While the SFPOA acknowledges Mr. Kaepernick’s right to speak his point of view and we stand by this right, we also recognize your organization’s ability to denounce his foolish statements and separate yourself from his actions,” the letter read.
Both the 49ers and the NFL have issued statements saying players are not required to stand for the national anthem.
The SFPOA closed the letter by offering Kaepernick, any member of the 49ers or the NFL the opportunity to come and spend time at the police academy to get a first-hand idea of the training of a police officer.