Fashion, in its purest form, is a visual expression that can relay a clear message even when language falls short. And none was clearer than Spike Lee visibly throwing his support behind the 49ers’s Colin Kaepernick today by donning the number 7 jersey of the embattled quarterback. The normally outspoken film director of such classics as Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X quietly made a beeline for his front row seat at Xuly.Bët’s Spring 2017 show this morning, adding a matching red 49ers cap and a pair of track pants to drill the point home.
The jersey is a symbol of the national conversation surrounding racial injustice and patriotism that has erupted around Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest of the unsettling rash of police brutality. Speaking on August 29 with Anderson Cooper, Lee defended the player’s right to protest, and mentioned other athletes who had used their platform to bring attention to pressing social issues. Lee is, of course, not alone in his support for Kaepernick. While some disgruntled 49ers fans burned the jersey in zealous display, the piece nonetheless became the highest-selling merchandise earlier this month at the NFL Shop, further proof of how fashion can wordlessly make a major impact.
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