Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick has launched a legal defense initiative for “freedom fighters” in Minneapolis as protesters and rioters continue to demonstrate against the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody last week.
“In fighting for liberation there‘s always retaliation. We must protect our Freedom Fighters,” Kaepernick wrote in a Friday tweet. “We started a legal defense initiative to give legal representation to Freedom Fighters in Minneapolis paid for by @yourrightscamp.”
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, now a free agent, urged supporters to donate to his Know Your Rights Camp, and included a link to the initiative’s application for legal representation.
In fighting for liberation there‘s always retaliation. We must protect our Freedom Fighters. We started a legal defense initiative to give legal representation to Freedom Fighters in Minneapolis paid for by @yourrightscamp
For representation or to donate https://t.co/q0pzAObCiG
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) May 29, 2020
Kaepernick shot to national notoriety in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem before 49ers games in protest against police brutality and alleged systemic racism. His protest grew into a controversial movement, with critics arguing Kaepernick’s actions were disrespectful of American veterans and the country. He became a free agent after the 2016 season ended and filed a complaint against the NFL, accusing the organization of colluding to prevent his being signed by another team.
Since then, Kaepernick has been active in the Black Lives Matter movement and last week expressed support for protesters demonstrating in Minneapolis and other cities around the country.
“When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction. The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance,” Kaepernick tweeted last week.
George Floyd died in police custody last week in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, persisting even after Floyd passed out. In video footage of the incident, Floyd could be heard pleading with officers not to kill him and saying that he could not breathe.
His death sparked both peaceful protests and riots, violence breaking out in Minneapolis, where demonstrators burned a police precinct. Rioters smashed storefronts and burned police vehicles in New York City, Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Los Angeles, and several other metropolitan areas.