Colin Kaepernick fight stalls Black History Month resolution in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. — Republican concerns that former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is too controversial to honor as a black leader doomed a resolution recognizing Black History Month in the state Assembly on Tuesday.

February is Black History Month. The Legislature’s black caucus had proposed a resolution honoring a number of black leaders, including Kaepernick, who was born in Wisconsin.

That move didn’t go over well with the GOP. Republican leaders drafted a resolution that didn’t include Kaepernick but did add Mandela Barnes, the state’s first black lieutenant governor, and Vel Phillips, the state’s first black secretary of state. Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, who is white, told reporters during a news conference Tuesday that Kaepernick was left off the list “for obvious reasons.”

He later told reporters that Kaepernick was a controversial figure. Kaepernick caused an uproar in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial and social injustice. He has not played since that season and filed a grievance in November 2017 accusing owners of collusion to keep him out of the NFL.

Republicans tried to bring their resolution to the floor but fell six votes short of the two-thirds majority they needed after all the chamber’s Democrats voted against the move.

Republicans said they tried to honor black history, but Rep. David Crowley, chairman of the Legislature’s black caucus, was enraged and walked briskly out of the chamber. He told a reporter later that black people should be allowed to choose the leaders they want to honor. He said Kaepernick is “making history.”

“You’re telling African Americans they can’t honor who they feel are the leaders in their community,” he said.

Todd Richmond is an Associated Press writer.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Colin-Kaepernick-fight-stalls-Black-History-Month-13611806.php.

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