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Colin Kaepernick removed from Black History Month resolution in his home state

Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick got booted from a resolution honoring Black History Month in his home state of Wisconsin after white Republican lawmakers refused to pass a version that included his name.

The Wisconsin Legislature's Black Caucus, which is composed entirely of Democrats, drafted the annual resolution to honor dozens of prominent African-Americans from Wisconsin. An early draft included Kaepernick, the one-time San Francisco 49ers quarterback who started the movement of kneeling in protest during the national anthem at games. 

The resolution draft credited Kaepernick, a Milwaukee native, as an athlete and political activist who "has sought to raise attention to racial injustice and systemic oppression." 

But Republicans blocked the resolution until Democrats agreed to leave Kaepernick out. He does not appear in the updated text. A final version has not been approved.

Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick in Dec. 2016, when he played for the San Francisco 49ers. Getty

State Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, a Republican, said GOP lawmakers would not endorse Kaepernick's inclusion "for obvious reasons" and to avoid including controversial figures. The resolution's author, Democratic Rep. David Crowley, called the move a "slap in the face" and a "textbook example of white privilege," noting that he he had to "get the blessing of all of my white counterparts" to get the resolution passed. 

Kaepernick started his protests in 2016 to call attention to the problem of racial injustice in America. He has been a free agent since 2017, but his protests are still setting off political and cultural battles. Several black music stars, including Cardi B and Rihanna, turned down offers to perform at this year's Super Bowl as a sign of solidarity with Kaepernick.

This is the second year in a row that some of Wisconsin's white lawmakers challenged names in the Black History Month resolution, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Republicans last year opposed the resolution because it did not name certain black Wisconsin natives, including former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a vocal critic of the Black Lives Matter movement who gained notoriety amid allegations of his jail employees abusing inmates.