The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is busier than usual, mainly because it’s received more than a hundred angry phone calls, emails, and messages via social media, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. Those who haven’t sent angry message have shown their disgust through “disapproving hand gestures, hisses and venting” while at the airport, the AP wrote.
The culprit? Colin Kaepernick memorabilia, which is encased at the airport.
Before entering the NFL, Kaepernick quarterbacked Nevada for four seasons, accumulating more than 10,000 passing yards and 142 total touchdowns in his Wolf Pack career, which explains the shrine. It’s managed by the university, according to the AP, and was already scheduled to be updated in the coming months.
But travelers aren’t angry about football. They’re mad about his actions before the 49ers‘ recent preseason games, when Kaepernick protested racial injustice in the U.S. by remaining seated during the national anthem.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick’s shrine was briefly taken down Monday, but the AP reported that it was only removed for cleaning. The memorabilia is back up, which caught the eye of angry travelers.
“The toughest ones are the ones that come from veterans,” Brian Kulpin, the airport’s spokesman, told the AP. “There’s very strong feelings.”
Kulpin added that the airport has never faced the outrage that Kaepernick’s shrine has prompted.
Kaepernick is also facing scrutiny from his fellow NFL players, though some have also expressed support for his cause. So have some members of the military. On Tuesday night, #VeteransForKaepernick became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter.
Either way, Kaepernick isn’t giving up. He said that he’ll continue to sit for the national anthem until meaningful change occurs.
Source: CBS Sports / Colin Kaepernick memorabilia at Reno airport is making travelers angry