People might not have given the socks a second thought at the time, but now they’ve given Colin Kaepernick’s critics more fodder.
Photos that showed the 49ers quarterback wearing socks depicting pigs in police hats surfaced Thursday, though the photos are from a practice earlier in August.
Kaepernick wore the socks at least three times in August: once at a practice at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium and twice at scrimmages, one against the Houston Texans and another against the Denver Broncos. He addressed the controversy in an Instagram post.
The quarterback originally spurred controversy over his decision not to stand during the national anthem before preseason games to protest police violence against black people.
“People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that's something that this country has to change,” Kaepernick said in an interview. “There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher. You have people that practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don't have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist.”
Many were divided on the issue, with some calling Kaepernick unpatriotic and others saying it was his right under free speech not to stand.
But news of the socks didn’t get a supportive reaction, even from people who had been defending him.
Kaepernick is known for wearing socks with odd patterns on them, including wearing socks with cash and coins on them the day he signed his contract with the 49ers in June 2014.
When asked if he had worn the money socks on purpose that day, Kaepernick said, “To be honest, one of my friends gave them to me, I think. He gave me a box of socks. No idea what brand or what company, but they were in my drawer.”
Sacramento Bee reporter Matt Barrows contributed to this report.