Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, launched a movement in 2016, kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality. Due to his protest, Kaepernick hasn’t played in the league since 2017, and there’s a pending National Football League Players Association collusion lawsuit against the league, alleging that team owners, influenced by #DonaldTrump, conspired against him and his ability to continue his NFL career.
When Kaepernick wasn’t able to get another job, #Atlanta artist Fabian Williams painted the quarterback in an Atlanta Falcons uniform standing next to Muhammad Ali on the side of an abandoned building across the street from Morehouse College basketball arena, a mile from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Williams said, “I thought Atlanta, because of our civil rights history, would be a perfect place for him.”
Well now, during #SuperBowlLIII weekend, the mural and the building have been demolished, according to Williams and the video he posted to his #Instagram. Williams said, “I just happened to be driving by when they were doing it, and it took a minute for me to mentally recognize that it was happening.” He continued, “Symbols matter man. You destroyed the whole building it was on? If I were an interpreter of performance art, what message would you take from that?”
Williams, who also goes by his IG name “Occasional Superstar,” said the wall had been used as a space to promote advertisements for albums, parties, and movies and that he never got permission to paint on the wall, but met the building’s owner once. “He said he liked it,” Williams stated. “But said that the city was complaining to him [building owner] about it.”
Six months ago, a fire destroyed the building but left the wall intact. Williams planned on spending all day Saturday touching up the mural in time for the Super Bowl on Sunday. He said, “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.”
But, Williams is not deterred. He painted another Kaepernick mural on a wall on Peeples Street and just completed a mural commissioned by #Nike, “Where Dreams are Made,” on the side of the Westside Cultural Arts Center in Midtown.
You go, boy!