The U.S. Navy SEALS have announced an investigation into a video showing a man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey being attacked by dogs at a demonstration at a Florida museum with links to several former SEALs.
The first video shows a man in protective clothing and a Kaepernick jersey being bitten by SEAL attack dogs as part of a demonstration in front of a crowd of spectators.
Another video of the same event shows men in military clothing performing a mock capture of the man after the dogs have been removed. As he lies on the ground, he says “Oh man, I’ll stand,” eliciting laughter from the watching crowd.
The videos were originally shared on Instagram in January 2020, but went viral in the first weekend of August.
In a statement on their official Twitter account, the U.S. Navy SEALs said: "The inherent message of this video is completely inconsistent with the values and ethos of Naval Special Warfare and the U.S. Navy.”
The statement added that the SEALs are investigating the incident and that “initial indications” were that there were no active duty Navy personnel or equipment involved in the display.
The event depicted in the videos took place at the Navy Seal Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida. The museum is not officially affiliated with the SEALs or the U.S. military, but it lists several retired SEALs on its board of directors and advisory board.
The dog demonstration incident is not the only one associated with the museum and Kaepernick's protests. Video of the museum's 33rd Annual Muster event in November 2018, showed a mock military engagement in which an SUV with "Take a knee," and "Nike" painted in large letters on the side was a target.
Nike hired Kaepernick to appear in a commercial after he had stopped playing in the NFL and also released a Kaepernick-branded shoe.
The clip, embedded below, shows a group enter the display area in the vehicle, before they are subject to a mock assault by men in military fatigues, one of whom is seen carrying an American flag on his back. In the video, the car appears at around the two minute 24 second mark.
The mock soldiers proceed to fire their weapons at the car, and the people who arrived in it lie down, acting as though they had been shot.
Kaepernick played six seasons as a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, but has not played in the NFL since 2016, when he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
Kaepernick and other players who chose to protest during the anthem attracted criticism with many, including President Trump, who said that players who did not stand for the anthem “shouldn’t be in the country.”
The NFL subsequently brought in a rule banning players from kneeling on the field during the anthem.
In the wake the nationwide racial injustice protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that the league had been wrong not to listen to listen to its players about racism.
"We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all players to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe that black lives matter," he said in a video statement, reported on by ESPN.
— US Navy SEALs (@us_navyseals) August 2, 2020