The legendary singer quickly tweeted a note to followers, wishing them a “Happy Colin Kaepernick Appreciation Day!”
Carey sent her tweet just moments after Super Bowl viewers saw an advertisement from the NFL’s Inspire Change campaign that emphasized the importance of social justice. The ad’s imagery included footage of the ongoing national protests against police brutality and racial inequality, alongside snapshots of players wearing the names of victims of police brutality on their helmets and kneeling on the field.
The ad, which appeared to have the primary intention of reminding the public that the NFL said last year it would “commit a quarter of a billion dollars over 10 years to a fund to combat systemic racism and support the battle against injustices faced by African Americans,” struck a chord with viewers who immediately noted the hypocrisy.
Many people mentioned Kaepernick ― the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who notably knelt during the performance of the national anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality ― and said he was owed an apology for being effectively blacklisted from the NFL after opting out of his contract with the 49ers in 2017. He has not played professionally since.
Soon, Kaepernick’s name was trending on Twitter:
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke about Kaepernick last week.
“I said very clearly back in June that we wish we had listened to our players earlier, and we had a lot of players that were coming and bringing these issues to us,” Goodell said at a Feb. 4 press conference, per The Mercury News. “It didn’t start last summer; it started over two years ago and we’ve been working with the Players Coalition over that period of time.”
He went on to call Kaepernick “one of the individuals who obviously brought a great deal of attention to this, and, for that, he deserves our recognition for that and appreciation.”