SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The NFL boycott mantra, “I’m with Kap,” will soon be emblazoned on hats and tees if former 49er Colin Kaepernick gets his way.
TMZ Sports is reporting that Kaepernick filed an application to trademark the slogan for his new clothing line.
He plans to use it on “shirts, hoodies, caps and other apparel,” according to the online celebrity news site.
Many believe Kaepernick is being shunned by the NFL for sitting and kneeling in silent protest as ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ played before games, in 2016. The act spawned a nationwide movement with dozens more athletes kneeling during the anthem on the sidelines.
“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,” he told NFL Media. “This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” he said. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
Fast-forward to 2018, players who protested have indeed lost endorsements, and Kap has not been signed by any other team since becoming a free agent more than a year ago. The NFL announced last May that teams will be subject to fines if their players continue to kneel, drawing praise from President Donald Trump who in a Tweet called on the owners to “fire those sons of bitches.”
Despite the conservative backlash, Kaepernick’s popularity with his fans seems unwavering. The former 49ers QB remains vocal, championing his favorite causes and speaking out to raise awareness on the problems facing black and brown people in America. He has reportedly donated $1 million to various charities and non-profits.
As for his endorsements, according to USA Today, Addidas has expressed interest in partnering with Kap and Nike never broke ties with him.
No word as to exactly when Kaepernick plans to launch his “I’m with Kap” clothing line. He has filed a lawsuit against the NFL alleging collusion to keep him out for protesting and according to ESPN, may even subpoena the President. If it comes to that, a successful trademark would certainly help offset his legal fees.