Colin Kaepernick’s Protest Immortalized As Street Art

Photos: Jeff Rothberg

The protest started by football player Colin Kaepernick’s back in August has officially hit the streets of New York City, as art. Posters depicting the San Francisco 49ers quarterback in his signature protest pose with the words “I sit with Kaepernick,” have been pasted up in several areas around Brooklyn. The art is the work of 33-year-old graphic designer Jeff Rothberg.

The lifelong New Yorker tells Mass Appeal he was compelled to put up the posters. “I felt real connected to what he’s doing and his movement,” says Rothberg over the phone. “I’m a proud American. I love my country, but I see it for a lot of the faults that exist.”

kaepernick_posters_rothberg_3Rothberg produced dozens of the posters, and scattered them throughout Prospect Heights, Flatbush, Crown Heights and Williamsburg because of the “diversity, history and culture” of those neighborhoods, adding that “a lot of influential people live in Brooklyn now.”

The artist says it’s important for the dialogue that Kaepernick kicked off to continue and he hopes the posters will do that, whether the people looking at them like it or not.

“I don’t mind if I get negative reactions to my piece,” says Rothberg. “I want positive, I want negative, I want all types of reactions, because that’s what I’m doing it for. I’m doing it for a reaction. And I’m doing it to get the conversation going. That’s how change happens. We gotta talk. We can’t just shove it to the side and ignore [it] like has been done for too long.”

According to Rothberg the inspiration for the look of the poster came from 1963 football cards, explaining how that’s the year Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

kaepernick_posters_rothberg_posters_brooklynThe Kaepernick posters aren’t the only campaign he’s responsible for. Rothberg caught the attention of quite a few Brooklynites, including Spike Lee, when he created art featuring Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders ahead of the debate they had months ago. Lee apparently appreciated the “Battle for Brooklyn” so much, he contacted Rothberg for one, invited him to meet and they spoke for over 30 minutes. The renowned director also got the poster signed by both candidates.

Although Rothberg realizes that his actions could attract the attention of the NYPD, he’s willing to take that risk to get the word out and keep the discourse going. “It’s important to talk about these topics and fight for injustice for those have been getting the wrong end of the stick,” he says.


Related Posts


Banksy Surprises School Kids With Fiery Mural


Rare Banksy Footage Bubbles Up


Chris Long Just Changed the Racial Dynamics of the NFL’s National Anthem Protest


Watch: South Park Takes Shots at Colin Kaepernick’s Protest


The Santa Clara Police Force is Considering Boycotting 49ers Games in Light of Colin Kaepernick Protest


Latest News

nas-rapture Film


Mass Appeal’s new Netflix series premieres this weekend at SXSW
same Hot Takes

It Was a Type Beat Year

The search for something new in a year of sameness
shea serrano Features

Shea Serrano Quit His Teaching Job, Now He Has Two Best Sellers and Two TV Shows

"It is funny to just walk in and just be a Mexican, because I’m usually the only one there"
mf doom Features

The 10 Best DOOM Songs of 2017, Ranked

Even after 'The Missing Notebook Rhymes' went missing, the masked villain still caused havoc
worst cops Features

The Worst Cops of 2017

The hall of shame
donald trump Features

32 Songs That Dissed Donald Trump in 2017

The "F.D.T." wave
lil peep News

R.I.P. Gus, Long Live Lil Peep

Resisting nostalgia at the speed of the internet
88 rising Features

Sean Miyashiro of 88rising Connected the Cultures

With 1.25 million YouTube subscribers and a gang of talent, 88rising controlled the new East-West flow
eminem Video

Eminem By the Numbers

You may know how many f*cks he gives, but what about the other crucial figures from Slim Shady's career?
tape Features

Why 2017 Was Rap’s Year of the Tape

Seven labels explain why they're still rewinding cassettes back
safdie brothers Features

The Safdie Brothers Got Gritty as 2017’s Filmmakers to Watch

"You might not like the feeling that you're feeling, but you can still be entertained by that feeling."
best albums Features

The 25 Best Albums of 2017

The essential sounds that defined one very strange year
hey arnold Humor

Everything About Christmas is Awful, Except the ‘Hey Arnold!’ Special

The one redeeming thing about this trash holiday
combat-jack Features

Knowledge Darts Vol. 32: Winter Solstice

I never got to say thank you
jeezy Video

Open Space: Jeezy

"You can’t just crush a diamond with a rock. It’s hard, it’s tough. But it’s bright."

Rhythm Roulette: Boi-1da

The wait is over