East Elmhurst, NY – Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick descended on Rikers Island Tuesday to surprise inmates with the opportunity to chat with him.
The controversial unemployed professional football player has been an outspoken opponent of law enforcement officers since 2016, when he decided to kneel during the national anthem in what he called a sign of protest against police brutality.
Kaepernick’s latest move shows that he’s not just anti-police, he’s pro-criminal.
His visit was immediately condemned by the Correction Officers Benevolent Association (COBA), the union that represents correction officers who work in the Rikers Island facilities, the New York Daily News reported.
“Once again, correction officers find themselves caught in Mayor de Blasio’s political con-game,” COBA President Elias Husamudeen said.
In 2016, Kaepernick wore socks on the football field that depicted officers as pigs – a move that especially insulted law enforcement officers, the union pointed out.
The union expressed outrage that administrators would allow Kaepernick to spread his message to prisoners in person.
“This will only encourage inmates to continue to attack Correction Officers at a time when we need more protection,” Husamudeen said.
Kaepernick’s guest appearance took place at the George Motchan Detention Center, a facility named after a corrections officer who was shot and killed by an inmate who was trying to escape custody in 1975, Correction History reported.
“This is yet another brazen display of the hypocrisy of this mayor who pretends to support us in public, yet does everything possible to jeopardize our security in private,” Husamudeen said.
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio also recently rewarded “well-behaved” Rikers Island inmates with pizza parties, and implemented an $800k taxpayer-funded program that pays criminals with $15 gift cards in exchange for their reviews of the Manhattan Criminal Court and its affiliated employees.
According to the New York Daily news, specific approval from a high-ranking administrator is required in order to hold a group visit.
Whether or not De Blasio was the official who signed off on the former quarterback’s meet-and-greet was unclear.
COBA withdrew its sponsorship of the Christmas tree lighting celebration at Rikers Island after Kaepernick’s visit, the New York Daily News reported.