The ACLU of Southern California had its annual Bill of Rights gala on Sunday and surprised the crowd with special guest Colin Kaepernick.
The former NFL player’s attendance wasn’t announced and the crowd went wild with excitement when Kaepernick hit the stage, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“He’s been viciously and unfairly criticized,” ACLU Southern California’s executive director Hector Villagra said.
“He’s been called a traitor because too many people in this country confuse dissent for disloyalty. He took a stand knowing some would threaten him and he has had his life threatened, which is why we are profoundly honored to have him here [and] we didn’t publicize his presence tonight.”
Kaepernick has been instrumental the NFL’s tanking ticket sales and ratings nose dive by protesting during the national anthem. Kaepernick and his followers chose to take a knee during the Star Spangled Banner and claim their grievance is against racial injustice and police brutality.
Millions of Americans who just want to enjoy an entertaining game of football found the timing of the player’s protests more than a little insulting to the country as a whole and a virtual slap in the face to the brave men and woman who serve to protect it.
That didn’t stop the ACLU from awarding Kaepernick with its Eason Monroe Courageous Courage Award.
The event was attended by numerous stars that included, Viola Davis, Gina Rodriguez, Judd Aptow, and CNN commentator Van Jones. But it was Jane Fonda who was probably the biggest draw, and she was sure to sing Kaepernick’s praises when it was her turn to take the stage.
“Colin,” she said at the start of her remarks, according to THR. “You are woke!”
Fonda capped off her speech with some questionable advice for the former football star.
“Keep kneeling until you can stand up!”
Talk about working the (liberal) crowd.
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