After a video surfaced online of the Navy SEAL Museum using a Colin Kaepernick jersey as a prop during a K-9 demonstration at a fundraiser last year, the commander of the Navy SEALs came out and said that it will suspend its support of the museum.
“Each and every one of us serves to protect our fellow Americans - ALL Americans. Even the perception that our commitment to serving the men and women of this nation is applied unevenly is destructive,” Rear Admiral Collin Green, who heads the Naval Special Warfare Command, said in an email to his forces on Monday evening.
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He added: “We will revisit our relationship with the Museum when I am convinced that they have made the necessary changes to ensure this type of behavior does not happen again.”
In the letter, Green said, “While the museum is an independent non-profit organization and the participants were contracted employees from outside the DoD, in many ways, these facts are irrelevant. We have been inextricably linked to this organization that represents our history.”
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“We may not have contributed to the misperception in this case, but we suffer from it and will not allow it to continue,” he said.
In one video, it showed up to four dogs attack a man wearing the Kaepernick jersey.
In a second video, someone can be heard saying “Navy SEALs and Navy SEAL dogs take down Colin Kaepernick for not standing during National Anthem,” the man who is attacked by a dog can be heard saying, “Oh man, I will stand.”
Kaepernick hasn’t played an NFL game since the 2016 season, when he started kneeling during the national anthem to protest systemic racism and police brutality. Calls for Kaepernick to make a return came weeks after George Floyd died on May 25 while in the custody of Minneapolis police.
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a video in June apologizing on behalf of the NFL for not doing a better job of listening to players' concerns on racial inequality. He received criticism for not mentioning Kaepernick by name in his video.
“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier, and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” he said at the time. “We, at the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter. I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country.”
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He also explained why the NFL decided to speak up.
“What they were talking about and what they were protesting and what they were trying to bring attention to was playing out right in front of us -- and tragically,” Goodell said. "And so all of us saw that, and it was difficult for all of us. And so that was an important point for all of us.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.