Wisconsin legislators spent Tuesday and Wednesday arguing over whether or not ex-NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s name should be included in a resolution honoring Black History Month.
According to The Capital Times, the Wisconsin Legislature’s Black Caucus had included Kaepernick’s name in a ceremonial resolution, which honored African Americans who have “made measurable differences in their respective communities.”
Republicans objected to his inclusion on the list, and instead put forward an alternative resolution that didn’t include his name. That resolution, which ultimately passed along party lines, replaced Kaepernick with the state’s first black lieutenant governor and first black secretary of state, among others.
“The Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus unanimously agreed upon the names to honor in our resolution. It is beyond disappointing and offensive that Wisconsin Republicans are choosing not to respect the leadership of Wisconsin’s Legislative Black Caucus on this issue,” Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) said.
State Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) criticized her Republican colleagues for telling “the entire country” that a “white Republican legislator” is “best suited to decide for African Americans what we should value, who we should honor.”
“You don’t have to understand. It’s not your lens. It’s not your story. It’s ours. Who are you to deny our reality?” she added.
“The fact that you guys won’t even hear our resolution because it’s divisive is a slap in the face,” Rep. David Crowley (D-Milwaukee), chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, said.
The Capital Times notes that Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee and spent his early childhood in Fond du Lac. Republicans, however, thought his inclusion in the resolution was too “controversial” and said that members should be “all in agreement” on who would be honored.
“For much of our existence in the United States, African Americans have had to ask for permission; I refuse to ask for permission when honoring those who have made significant contributions to the plight of African American people,” Rep. LaKeshia Myers (D-Milwaukee) responded. “The insistence that Colin Kaepernick’s name be removed from the black history month resolution was an exercise in white privilege and one that I cannot accept.”
On Friday, the NFL announced that it had reached a settlement with Kaepernick in his collusion lawsuit against them. Some reports estimate that Kaepernick could receive as much as $50 million in the settlement.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Lena Taylor” by Lena Taylor. Photo “David Crowley” by David Crowley.