After being snubbed by the GOP membership of the Wisconsin legislature, the Milwaukee native and former NFL Quarterback will be honored as part of Black History Month by the Milwaukee Common Council:
Colin Kaepernick will be honored by the City of Milwaukee after Republican lawmakers in Madison rejected efforts to recognize him statewide.
Kaepernick, who was born in Milwaukee, will now be featured in the city’s “28 Days of Black History” project, seven African American aldermen said Friday.
The announcement comes just days after Republicans in the state Legislature rejected a move by black lawmakers to recognize Kaepernick as part of Wisconsin’s Black History Month.
“It is unfortunate that certain state legislators in Madison have worked in opposition to their African American colleagues to block Wisconsin native Colin Kaepernick from being included in a state Black History Month resolution,” the aldermen said. “Unlike some in Madison we are truly honored to feature Colin Kaepernick as part of our Black History celebration.”
The statement was signed by Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton, Alds. Milele Coggs, Russell W. Stamper II, Chantia Lewis, Khalif J. Rainey, Cavalier Johnson and Nikiya Dodd.
“We understand that Mr. Kaepernick is a controversial figure, but black history makers tend to be controversial by nature,” they added. “Few, if any, were accepted by the broader society when they were doing their work, but in hindsight, our nation recognizes that their counter-cultural actions were crucial to the growth of our country.”
Milwaukee’s move came after tempers flared at the state Capitol amid GOP opposition to honor Kaepernick, a former National Football League quarterback who has drawn attention — and stirred controversy — for kneeling during the national anthem to protest the treatment of black people.
“Mr. Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee and his willingness to stand up for what he believes and against the violent and oppressive (and sometimes deadly) treatment of black and brown citizens by law enforcement has brought attention to some of the most important issues of our time,” the Milwaukee aldermen said. “Quite simply, by doing so he has made history.”
Some, including Coggs and Lewis, wore shirts this week showing their support for the quarterback.
Coggs was recognized in the state resolution, which was approved at the Capitol after Republicans pulled Kaepernick’s name from it.
The council members also noted that Kaepernick has “donated generously to help many worthwhile causes” including two Milwaukee groups, the I Will Not Die Young Campaign and Urban Underground.
Kaepernick will now be included in Milwaukee’s 28 Days of Black History project, which means he will be featured on the city’s website and on the City Channel. Others featured include Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum founder Clayborn Benson, state Rep. Kalan Haywood, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Henry “Hank” Aaron, Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik and others.
“Black history is still being written and is ever developing,” the group of council members said.
Update on February 16, 2019. In the initial article and resolution, Milwaukee’s seven African-American alderpersons were the official signees. But in the final release thirteen of the fifteen alders supported the resolution: : Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton, Alds. Milele Coggs, Russell W. Stamper II, Chantia Lewis, Khalif J. Rainey, Cavalier Johnson, Nikiya Dodd, Nik Kovac, Robert Bauman, José Pérez, Mark Borkowski, Michael Murphy and Tony Zielinski. The two who did not sign were Alds. Robert Donovan and Terry Witkowski.
Side note: it was announced today that Mr. Kaepernick and the National Football League have come to a financial settlement but terms will not be published.