Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin’s state Legislature are not fans of Colin Kaepernick.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Legislature was set to pass a ceremonial resolution celebrating Black History Month on Tuesday until GOP lawmakers stepped in and demanded that Kaepernick’s name be removed from the resolution or it would be vetoed. The resolution, drafted by the Legislature’s black caucus and authored by Rep. David Crowley of Milwaukee, honored more than 20 prominent black Americans, including the Milwaukee-born Kaepernick.
The resolution was passed once black Democrats removed Kaepernick’s name, but Rep. Crowley was not happy about it, calling it a “slap in the face” and “a textbook example of white privilege.” Via the Journal Sentinel, Rep. Crowley also said, “I had to get the blessing of all of my white counterparts” before the resolution passed, but was glad it did.
Despite the clear distaste that Wisconsin’s Republican lawmakers (who all happen to be white) have for Kaepernick, it doesn’t appear that any of them clearly spelled out why. Instead, those who spoke about the bill tiptoed around their reasoning. Republican representative and Majority Leader Jim Steineke only said that he and other GOP legislators wouldn’t support a resolution with Kaepernick’s name “for obvious reasons.” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told the Journal Sentinel that he wanted a resolution that would “bring us together. Not look at people who draw some sort of vitriol from either side.”
Rep. Crowley didn’t agree with that sentiment and defended the choice to include Kaepernick in the resolution on the Assembly floor. Via the Journal Sentinel:
“It is critical for this body to recognize the black caucus and recognize the resolution we put forward. Many of these people that you don’t agree with will still be in the history books that your children and grandchildren will be reading.”
The Journal Sentinel reported that GOP legislators proposed their own version of the resolution, which was completely identical with the exception of two names: Kaepernick and Milwaukee Rev. Greg Lewis were removed and replaced with Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and former Wisconsin Secretary of State Vel Phillips. Democratic legislators blocked that resolution from a vote.
Since the updated, Kaepernick-free version of the resolution did pass the Legislature, it will next head to the state Senate. But there’s expected to be more debate about the removal of Kaepernick’s name, as two Republican state Senators had signed onto the version of the resolution that included Kaepernick.
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