49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick arrived at Sunday’s game in Buffalo wearing a shirt with an image of the late Muhammad Ali.
Kaepernick is making his first start of the season against the Bills on Sunday. More notably, it is his first start since he began protesting against police brutality during the national anthem. Ali, who died in June, was also known for being an outspoken political activist.
Ali’s boxing career was interrupted for several years in the 1960’s because of his refusal to resistance to the military draft.
“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?” Ali said.
Much like Ali, Kaepernick’s protest has been met by fierce opposition. A recent Quinnipiac poll found a stark racial divide in Americans’ views of the anthem protests started by Kaepernick. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dismissed Kaepernick’s gesture as “dumb” and “disrespectful” in an interview last week but later backtracked.