Plenty of athletes have spoken out in the past week since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s controversial decision not to stand for the national anthem before a game — some supportive, some not. One player whose support of Kaepernick surprises no one is Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker, who has been outspoken about many of the same issues as Kaepernick in recent weeks.
On Tuesday evening, Parker posted a photo on Instagram of himself wearing a Kaepernick jersey, along with a message of support.
Kaepernick’s protest stems from treatment of people of color by the police, and Parker has been an advocate on the same issue. A Chicago native, he recently wrote a Players’ Tribune essay addressing the state of inner-city violence. Shortly thereafter, he participated in a panel moderated by ESPN’s Jemele Hill that addressed gun violence and the responsibility of athletes to speak out on social issues. That same weekend, he hosted a pickup game in Chicago with several NBA players with local ties that was aimed at spreading awareness on the issue. So it’s not a surprise at all to see him show public solidarity to Kaepernick, who has started a widespread national conversation with his anthem protest.