Colin Kaepernick kneeling during National Anthem

Screengrab via NFL Network/YouTube

University officer mocks Colin Kaepernick’s protest with racist costume

Here's what not to do on Halloween.


Ana Valens


Posted on Oct 31, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 12:43 pm CDT

Halloween can bring out the most creative in people, but more often than not, it draws out the worst. Case in point: A light-skinned University of Nevada, Reno police officer wore a costume mocking Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL player who led a national protest against racism.

A photo surfaced on Twitter over the weekend showing the officer with a curly Afro wig, a drawn-on black beard, and a fake nose in a handmade 49ers jersey. Wrapped around his front, the officer had a sign that says “Will stand for food,” poking fun at Kaepernick’s free agent status after being let go by the 49ers. Twitter users quickly condemned the costume, calling it racist.

While one Twitter user seemed to have identified the officer (they have since locked their account), University Police Chief Adam Garcia refused to name names. He did, however, call the costume “insensitive.”

“For those who have seen the Halloween costume of one of our officers apparently mocking a citizen who has chosen to take advantage of his constitutional right to protest, I offer my sincere apologies,” Garcia said in an official statement. “Members of our profession are held to a higher standard, and denigrating another—on or off duty—is insensitive for its lack of respect and lack of understanding on how others may negatively view their actions and may be impacted.”

Kaepernick, who is now best known for protesting racism and police brutality by kneeling for the national anthem last season, isn’t the first (nor last) Black American to be targeted by a racist costume. Blackface remains prominent on Halloween, as do costumes stereotyping people of color. An Afro, a fake nose, and making a mockery of the fight for racial justice is no different.


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*First Published: Oct 31, 2017, 12:43 pm CDT