The Navy opened an investigation into an old video featuring a K9 handler wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey during a K9 demonstration at a Navy SEAL museum fundraiser in Florida. The footage was originally published on Instagram in January 2019, but the clip went viral on Twitter Sunday, raking up over 2.5 million views after documentary filmmaker Billy Corben shared it. The video was also shared by celebrities, including actor Don Cheadle and comedian Sarah Silverman.
The full video shows a K9 handler wearing a San Francisco 49ers Kaepernick jersey as trained dogs charge him. "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," reads the caption to the video. After the man wearing the jersey falls to the ground, he appears to moan, "Oh man, I will not stand."
After the video went viral on Twitter, the Navy SEALs said it will investigate the video. "The inherent message of this video is completely inconsistent with the values and ethos of Naval Special Warfare and the U.S. Navy," the Navy said. "We are investigating the matter fully, and initial indications are that there were no active-duty Navy personnel or equipment involved with this independent organization's event."
The incident was filmed at the Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida, reports the New York Post. It is a non-profit museum. According to its website, it is "the only one of its kind dedicated to the Navy SEALs and their predecessors, underscores the Museum’s tribute to these warriors. The names of all who have died in training or service to their country are etched in the granite walls."
Kaepernick was a member of the 49ers when he kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality in 2016. The protest remains controversial, but more athletes have kneeled as well, especially in the months since George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis. In June, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted it was "wrong" to ignore players' protests.
After LeBron James and other Lakers players took a knee before their game against the Clippers, James said he hoped they made Kaepernick proud. "I hope we continue to make Kap proud every single day," James said after the game. "I hope I make him proud in how I live my life, not only on the basketball floor but off the floor."