The Navy SEALs have cut ties with the National Navy SEAL Museum, a nonprofit organization not overseen by the military. Footage recently surfaced of K9 dogs attacking a man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey during a fundraising event. The museum does not have any official ties to the Navy SEALs, but the military unit will suspend its support.
"Each and every one of us serves to protect our fellow Americans — ALL Americans. Even the perception that our commitment to serving the men and women of this nation is applied unevenly is destructive," Rear Admiral Collin Green, head of the Naval Special Warfare Command, said in an email to his forces, per AP News. Green continued to explain that the Navy SEALs will revisit their relationship with the museum when he "is convinced" that they have made the necessary changes.
According to AP News, a service member provided the letter on the condition of anonymity. They were not authorized to give the letter to the media. The museum did not respond to the outlet's requests for comment.
The video, which took place in 2019, resurfaced on Sunday. Documentary filmmaker Billy Corben shared the footage on Twitter, and it raked up 2.5 million views. "Colin Kaepernick stand-in Josh gets attacked by 5 Navy SEAL dogs for not standing during the National Anthem at a Navy SEAL Museum fundraiser," the video's caption said.
In the video, a K9 handler wore his protective suit along with a Kaepernick 49ers jersey. Dogs charged and attacked him as part of the demonstration. At one point, four different dogs hung from the handler's suit. The video came to a conclusion with the stand-in moaning about how he would stand, referencing Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem.
The Navy responded to the video by launching an investigation. The SEALs said that the inherent message of the video is "completely inconsistent with the values and ethos of Naval Special Warfare and the U.S. Navy." The SEALs also said that the first indication is that no active-duty Navy personnel or equipment were involved with the independent organization's event.
"While the museum is an independent non-profit organization and the participants were contracted employees from outside the DoD, in many ways, these facts are irrelevant," Green continued in his letter. "We have been inextricably linked to this organization that represents our history. We may not have contributed to the misperception in this case, but we suffer from it and will not allow it to continue."