In response to Kaepernick’s protests, the Santa Clara Police Department is threatening to boycott working at 49ers home games. The police union is accusing Kaepernick of creating a “hostile work environment.” The basic ultimatum is: either the Team disavow/discipline Kaepernick, or jeopardize the safety of their fans.
1. We really need to challenge the idea that safety is synonymous with policing. Fans are not kept safe by forcing everyone through metal detectors, searching their bags, and subjecting them to pat-downs. Fans are not kept safe by placing armed officers near every hot dog stand. The stadium was a “hostile work environment” long before Kaepernick decided to protest.
2. Football itself is a sport that perpetuates toxic masculinity and war culture. But millions of people still tune-in to watch 22 players break limbs and give each other brain damage. This was a “hostile work environment” long before Kaepernick decided to protest.