A mural depicting San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest has been painted over after neighbors complained about it to the city. Hoodline reports that SF Public Works received two complaints from neighbors alleging that the Bayview mural was both "not a mural" and not "legitimate art." As the city agency is required to do, it then notified the building owner that it could either appeal the complaint or paint over the mural. To the frustration of many, the company chose the latter.
The citation was issued on the fourth of this month, and a thick coat of white paint went up sometime thereafter. "All [Golden Properties] had to do was respond and let us know that they intended to keep the mural," SF Public Works spokesperson Rachel Gordon told Hoodline. "Public Works doesn't tell property owners what to paint on their buildings, as long as it [is] not considered hazardous or offensive. I can't say that this mural was offensive, but when we get complaints, it's our job to respond."
While debating what is and is not "legitimate art" (or if even such a thing exists) is literally the stuff of college courses, it is hard to argue that the above pictured work is not a mural — and one depicting an act of political protest, at that. The image of Kaepernick kneeling is of course a reference to the starting quarterback's ongoing protest of the national anthem and the treatment of minorities by police. The claim that this is somehow not "legitimate art" is confusing, to say the least.
And if some neighbors were upset about the mural going up, others are upset that it was painted over.
@Hoodline removing this ART shows GENTRIFICATION at it's most ignorant and SAN FRANCISCO at it's worse, What happened 2 SF progressive?— jen ram (@sanfranbusted) October 26, 2016
Interestingly, the now-gone Bayview work was not the only one of its kind in the city. Another mural in tribute to Kaepernick's protest was recently painted in the Mission, however Mission Local reports that that piece, done on plywood covering a broken window, is only temporary. It will be removed when Impact Hub moves into the Mission Street building near 15th Street next spring.
In San Francisco, Kaepernick's actions have sparked more than murals, with the entire Mission High School football team kneeling during the national anthem in solidarity with the NFL star — an action in support of black lives that no white paint can cover up.