Let’s read the news.
It seemed like the ultimate hypocrisy: A guy who claimed to be protesting systemic injustice—and not making this about himself—was demonstrating outright disdain for police officers, and doing it in a way that focused all eyes on him.
Except it turns out the photos were from August 10th, well before Kaepernick began his protest, and certainly before it became a national hot-button issue. This was not an inflammatory gesture the day of his big protest moment, one that might prove this was all about bringing attention to himself. He was not revealing his duplicity in some big, huge, immediate way.
It’s not a ringing endorsement for his position—after all, it’s not immediately clear to anyone that the pigs on the socks are “rogue cops” rather than just cops. And while he’s right, and it’s relevant, that the socks predate the controversy, that doesn’t mean they’re meaningless.
Do they shed some light on his feelings about police, regardless of whether he has friends and uncles who are police officers? Probably. Does it help his claim that this is all about systemic issues and not personal animus? Not really. Is this the perfect shiny object to keep people focused on him personally, rather than the larger issues he says he’s trying to bring attention to? Almost certainly.
Tonight, and tomorrow morning, should be intolerable. The volcanic takes are brewing.