Kaepernick mural gets the boot in Atlanta ahead of Super Bowl (VIDEO)
The mural was created by artist Fabian Williams – also known as Occasional Superstar – two years ago on the side of an abandoned building. Williams had created the piece in tribute to Kaepernick, who has protested against racial injustice in the US.
Williams said he noticed that the tribute had been torn down when he was driving through the area last week, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), and posted footage of the scene on social media.
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The first day of @atlsuperbowl53 weekend and the #kaeplanta (1st potrait of @kaepernick7), #WakandaAli (portrait of Muhammad Ali as T'challa) mural and building it was on are completely demolished as of this morning. I found out as I'm going to do an interview with @npr about another mural on Fair St at @marddys down the block. Think about that. The way they kick off the celebration if the @NFL most watched event, they tear down the building with their most talked about professional athlete without a job, Colin Kaepernick. What did he kneel for? Inequality. Human rights. That's the symbol that they just demolished during their celebration. Timing is important and it's a message. #Atlanta #civilrights #kaepernick #BlackPanther #tchallaAli
"Think about that. The way they kick off the celebration if the @NFL most watched event, they tear down the building with their most talked about professional athlete without a job, Colin Kaepernick," Williams wrote.
"What did he kneel for? Inequality. Human rights. That's the symbol that they just demolished during their celebration. Timing is important and it's a message."
The mural had adorned an abandoned building. The site was ravaged by fire around six months ago, but the wall bearing the artwork – which featured Kaepernick in a jersey of local team the Falcons, alongside boxing legend Muhammad Ali in the style of a character from the Marvel blockbuster ‘Black Panther’ – had remained.
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"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." - Muhammad Ali R/P from @nexttogoodloving - Heroes. Gods. Legends. . . Street Art. . 📍Washington Park. Atlanta, GA #blackpanther #kaepernick #isthatmuhammedaliface #itainttchalla #notkilmongereither
Williams said the owner of the building had liked the mural, but that “the city was complaining to him about it.”
The building lies about a mile from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will host Sunday's extravaganza, and Williams had planned to spruce up the mural before then, the AJC said.
He said the destruction of the site so close to the game was “odd.”
“I figured at some point they would tear the building down, but it has been sitting up this whole time.
“The fact that the Super Bowl happens here and the weekend when the festivities are gearing up, the building gets demolished is very odd.”
The owner of the building could not be reached, the AJC said, and it is unclear who was behind the demolition.Also on rt.com 1 billion chicken wings, $100K tickets & male cheerleaders: An alternative look at Super Bowl LIII
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick began the ‘take a knee’ protests in 2016, which later swept the NFL.
He left the team in 2017 and has since been without a contract, accusing NFL owners of colluding to ensure he remains an outcast.
The debate over Kaepernick has extended to the entertainment planned for Sunday’s Super Bowl, with pop star Rihanna reportedly turning down the halftime show slot in solidarity with the former 49ers quarterback.
Maroon 5, who have taken on the gig, have been criticized for performing, and the NFL canceled the traditional pre-game press conference this week, reportedly to avoid awkward questions over the protest issue.Also on rt.com 1 billion chicken wings, $100K tickets & male cheerleaders: An alternative look at Super Bowl LIII