Colin Kaepernick has, without a doubt, been the NFL’s most polarizing and controversial player in the run-up to the regular season. His decision not to stand for the national anthem has everyone taking sides – is he acting un-American by doing so, or is he making a powerful statement about race relations in the U.S.? And while this has all been going on, “Kap” has attracted controversy once again, by wearing a pair of socks with drawings of pigs to represent police officers.

Police bigwig slams NFL for unfairly ignoring Kaepernick’s socks

In a statement made to USA TODAY Sports, National Association of Police Officers director Bill Johnson said that it’s “ridiculous” for the NFL, considering the fact it didn’t allow the Dallas Cowboys to honor their city’s fallen police officers, to ignore Kaepernick’s photo where he wears the offending socks. Johnson also called out NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in his statement, saying that the league under his watch is in a “downward spiral.”

Kaepernick had apparently been wearing the socks as far back as August 10, but it wasn’t until Wednesday night that people became aware he had worn them.

The images went viral last night on social media, and added to the quarterback’s increasing notoriety. The NFL was quoted by USA TODAY as saying that it won’t make any comment on Kaepernick’s socks until it is able to speak to officials from his team, the San Francisco 49ers.

Kaepernick says socks could distract from his main issue

Given the possibility of the anti-police socks taking precedence over what really matters, Kaepernick took to Instagram on Thursday for yet another clear-the-air statement.

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He said that he wore the socks in protest of the “rogue cops” that still hold high positions in law enforcement departments and often deliberately foster “an environment of tension and mistrust,” thereby putting communities at risk. He also noted that he has relatives and friends who work as policemen, but honor their duties to serve and protect everyone. Mainly, though, Kaepernick said that he wore the socks before the national anthem controversy, and that he wants to clear the air before they “distract from the real issues” at hand.

Kaepernick will be suiting up for the 49ers tonight in their preseason game versus the San Diego Chargers, and has said he will remain firm on his choice to sit for the Star-Spangled Banner until he sees some form of improvement in America’s race relations.

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