Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drew outrage on the right by releasing Saturday a dramatized video clip comparing the NFL draft to slavery.
The clip posted with the release of his six-part Netflix documentary series, “Colin in Black & White,” shows actors portraying Black football players at the NFL combine and morphing into slaves being bought and sold at an antebellum-style auction.
“What they don’t want you to understand is what’s being established is a power dynamic,” Mr. Kaepernick said in the video clip. “Before they put you on the field, teams poke, prod and examine you, searching for any defect that might affect your performance. No boundary respect, no dignity left intact.”
The clip by the NFL free-agent quarterback drew immediate pushback from conservatives such as Rep. Burgess Owens, Utah Republican, who pointed out that NFL participation is voluntary and players are paid millions.
“How dare @Kaepernick7 compare the evil endured by so many of our ancestors to a bunch of millionaires who CHOSE to play game,” tweeted Mr. Owens.
Conservative commentator Ian Miles Cheong noted that Mr. Kaepernick has a contract with Nike, adding that the “irony of Colin Kaepernick is that he’ll compare the NFL to slavery but remain silent on actual slavery in Xinjiang, where his Nike shoes are made.”
Outkick the Coverage founder Clay Travis said the NFL combine “allows all players of all races a voluntary chance to become multi-millionaires, to slavery. Anyone still defending this imbecile lacks a functional brain.”
An estimated 57.5% of NFL players are Black, while 24.9% are White, and 9.4% identified as two or more races in 2020, according to a Tides Institute for Diversity and Ethics report.
Mr. Kaepernick signed in 2014 a record $126 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers, and was paid $39.4 million before opting out of his contract in 2017, according to Business Insider.
He made waves during the 2016 regular season by kneeling during the national anthem in a show of opposition to police brutality and racism.
“Colin in Black & White” premiered Friday on Netflix.