- The Washington Times - Monday, August 21, 2017

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will feature items related to embattled NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but still has no plans to mention U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Harry Edwards, a sociologist who contributed to the museum’s exhibition on race in sports, said he donated some of Mr. Kaepernick’s game-worn gear and encouraged museum Director Lonnie Bunch to put it on display as soon as possible.

“I said, ‘Don’t wait 50 years to try to get some memorabilia and so forth on Kaepernick,’” Mr. Edwards told USA Today. “‘Let me give you a game jersey, some shoes, a picture. … And it should be put right there alongside Muhammad Ali. He’s this generation’s Ali.’”

The gear is not on display, yet. The museum’s curator of sports, Damion Thomas, said he expects it will take a year or two for the objects to be rotated in.

Mr. Kaepernick is the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who, in a protest over police shootings of black men, refused to stand for the national anthem before games last season.

NFL game viewership was down 8 percent last season, and a survey released by J.D. Power in July found that the protests were the top reason fans said they watched fewer football games.

Mr. Kaepernick said he will discontinue the protests if he plays this season, but he has still not signed with a new team.

News of Mr. Kaepernick’s inclusion in the black history museum comes as Justice Thomas, the second black man and one of the most influential jurists to sit upon the U.S. Supreme Court, remains absent from its exhibitions.

The museum does, however, mention Anita Hill, the woman who accused Justice Thomas of sexual harassment during his 1991 Senate confirmation hearing. There is a pin-back button that reads, “I believe Anita Hill,” in the museum’s 37,000-object collection.

The museum also contains exhibits on the Black Panthers, hip-hop and the Black Lives Matter movement.

When asked about Justice Thomas‘ omission, the museum previously said that content decisions are determined by “themes, not individuals.”

The Smithsonian Institution has not responded to a request for comment about Mr. Kaepernick’s inclusion in the museum.

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