Colin Kaepernick broke his silence on the death of George Floyd on Thursday, expressing support for the ongoing protests in Minneapolis.
Police have used tear gas and water cannons on protesters. On Wednesday night, the second night of protests, several stores were set ablaze and some were looted.
“When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction,” Kaepernick said in posts on Instagram and Twitter. “The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance.
“We have the right to fight back!”
Kaepernick closed the post with, “Rest in Power George Floyd.” It was liked on Instagram by LeBron James and was supported in the comments by Enes Kanter.
Floyd, who was black, died Monday after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, ignoring Floyd’s cries that he couldn’t breathe and witnesses’ pleas to stop. The incident was videotaped by a bystander.
The officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, was fired, as were three others who were there and did not intervene.
Floyd’s death is another example of the police brutality against people of color that prompted Kaepernick, then a quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, to begin protesting in 2016.
While some suggested Kaepernick was encouraging violence with his statement, it echoed earlier comments by Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey. During a news conference Thursday, Frey said the violence during protests was the “result of so much built-up anger and sadness.”
“Anger and sadness that has been ingrained in our black community, not just because of five minutes of horror. But 400 years,” an emotional Frey said. “If you’re feeling that sadness and that anger, it’s not only understandable, it’s right. It’s a reflection of the truth our black community has lived.
“While not from lived experience, that sadness must also be understood by our non-black communities,” Frey added. “To ignore it, to toss it out, would be to ignore the values we all claim to have. That are all the more important during a time of crisis.”
Read more at usatoday.com