New posters in Brooklyn are taking a stand by sitting with Kaepernick.
Artwork featuring the San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been popping up all over the borough, showing football player taking a knee — a nod to his controversial refusal to stand for the National Anthem before games.
The poster, designed by Brooklyn-born artist Jeff Rothberg, says “I sit with Kaepernick” above the words “end injustice for all.”
Kaepernick has said his decision to take a knee — a change from his initial decision to sit during the anthem — is in protest of the oppression of black people in America.
His decision has set off a wave of similar actions by fellow football players. Over the weekend, players on the Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams are among those that have kneeled, locked arms and raised fists during the song.
Rothberg said he put up the posters in Flatbush, Crown Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Prospect Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Williamsburg between 1 and 5 a.m. Sunday morning to prep for the start of the regular professional football season.
“I wanted them up for the first Sunday games of the NFL season,” he said.
A former athlete himself and big football fan, Rothberg said he felt "very connected" to what Kaerpernick was doing and wanted to create something to him, particularly when he saw backlash to the quarterback's move.
“I wanted to do a piece that showed I was in favor — and that I felt a lot of Americans were in favor — of what he’s talking about," he said.
Rothberg included many symbols in the poster to reflect Kaepernick's protest (a peace sign, the Lady Justice blindfold) and stylized the poster to look like football cards from 1963 — the year of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, he said.
Nationally, the protests by Kaepernick and other players have drawn both respect and ire. But in Brooklyn, lots of people are saying #IsitwithKaepernick.
Since the posters went up on Sunday, Rothberg said reactions have been mostly positive. Some fans of the artwork liked it so much, they removed the posters from walls and fences, he said. But he doesn't mind.
“I can’t be more proud and just honored that people are responding to this so well and are about it, " he said. "It’s not disrespect. It’s an important topic and Kaepernick shouldn’t be shunned."