The U.S. Navy says it is investigating footage that shows a man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey being attacked by dogs during a K-9 demonstration hosted by an independent Navy SEAL museum.
A viral video shows four dogs attacking a man wearing protective gear and a replica of former NFL star Kaepernick’s red and white jersey. A second video shows the man in the jersey falling to the ground. He is heard making a joke about standing — an apparent reference to Kaepernick’s protests while kneeling — eliciting laughter from a crowd of onlookers.
Kaepernick, who was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling before games during the national anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice. President Trump and other conservatives derided his protests, and last year he reached a settlement with the NFL over allegations his career was cut short because of his activism.
“The inherent message of this video is completely inconsistent with the values and ethos of Naval Special Warfare and the U.S. Navy,” the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command said in a statement. “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 videos, circulated online Sunday by filmmaker Billy Corben, say the event took place during a fundraiser last year put on by a Florida museum. The museum did not immediately respond to questions from NPR about the event.
The museum, which is on former naval training grounds in Fort Pierce, Fla., has a history of dramatic demonstrations involving dogs, weapons and helicopters. At a fundraiser in June 2019, a crowd watched as women were taken hostage by three men wearing black-and-white checkered scarves.
And as ABC News reported, video from a 2018 event for the museum shows people in military gear in a standoff with a vehicle that says “Take a Knee.”
In June, Adm. Michael Gilday, the Navy’s chief of naval operations, told Navy leaders to start dialogue “about race relations and inclusion.”
“We must demand of each other that we treat everyone with dignity and respect,” Gilday said in the video. “If you won’t do that, then our Navy is not the best place for you.”