‘A Future Without Policing & Prisons’: Colin Kaepernick’s Latest Idea Sparks Backlash

After former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick found success in demanding sports teams band together against police brutality (ultimately causing teams to allow anti-police logos and slogans on their helmets and uniforms), he is starting a new campaign: The abolition of police and the prison system.

Kaepernick published an article titled “The Demand for Abolition” on Wednesday, saying he would be releasing persuasive essays about the “anti-Black state-sanctioned violence” of black citizens by “police terrorism.”

He added:

It’s been four years since I first protested during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” At the time, my protest was tethered to my understanding that something was not right. I saw the bodies of Black people left dead in the streets. I saw them left dead in their cars. I saw them left dead in their backyards. I saw Black death all around me at the hands of the police. I saw little to no accountability for police officers who had murdered them. It is not a matter of bad apples spoiling the bunch but interlocking systems that are rotten to their core.

And systemic problems demand systemic solutions.

Kaepernick also said the new campaign intends to educate and urge change.

“To understand the necessity and urgency of abolition, we must first understand the genesis and histories of the institutions and practices we must abolish,” he wrote.

In an article shared by Kaepernick on Tuesday, written by the LEVEL editorial team, said “police and prisons fail to make us safer” and, instead, advocate for “abolition, a full dismantling of the carceral state and the institutions that support it.”

“Instead, we need to invest in a future that puts justice and the needs of the community first,” they continued. “A future that, as Colin Kaepernick himself says in his introductory essay, makes us safer, healthier, and truly free.”

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Here’s how some people responded to the essay: