Colin Kaepernick’s Jersey Is Now On Display At The MoMA
Just like a black fist on an afro pick became a symbol for the revolution against racism and the fight for civil rights, a quarterback on bended knee in an afro has now become a symbol for social activism and the fight against discrimination and police brutality. BET reports after 73 years, New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has decided to bring back fashion exhibits. The museum known for its revolving exhibits that showcase art by today’s standards will include the jersey of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and activist, Colin Kaepernick in its latest fashion exhibit.
Kaepernick’s jersey, which became a symbol of social justice activism and was the best-selling jersey in the NFL in 2016, is included in an exhibition titled, “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” The exhibit displays 111 items of clothing and accessories that “have had a strong impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries.” The exhibit also includes Yeezys and fashion label Supreme.
In an email to HuffPost, curator Paola Antonelli explains the importance of Kaepernick’s jersey being included:
“Children around the world look up to sports heroes as role models; for them, the jersey embodies a dream or aspiration.”
“We hope that visitors to ’Items′ will see in these sports jerseys not only the blood, sweat, and tears of their original wearers, but also the complex synthesis of aesthetics, personal choice, collective style, politics, business, race, gender, marketing, labor and technology that are embodied by their reproductions.”
Colin Kaepernick originally got down on one knee alongside teammate Eric Reid during the National Anthem at an NFL game in protest of racial discrimination in the country in September 2016. He originally sat during the anthem during the pre-season, but began to kneel out of respect for veterans and those serving in the military. His silent protest met serious backlash from Americans who saw his protest as disrespectful including Donald Trump, and ultimately, cost him his professional football career. His original explanation for the protest stated that he could not stand for a flag that doesn’t represent all people of the country equally:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
“Items: Is Fashion Modern?” will be on display until January 2018.