The Oakland Raiders fan who has a Colin Kaepernick lookalike doll hanging by the neck from the back of his truck is defending himself on Thursday.
After the image of his truck, posted Tuesday by Joanna Acevedo on Twitter, went viral, the truck owner, who only identified himself as "Raider Rob," says he just doesn’t like the San Francisco 49ers and that people who criticized him on the racist history of the image are "PC."
Acevedo says she was at the Safeway gas station located along Cottle Road when she spotted the doll hanging near the truck's trailer hitch with a metal chain wrapped around its neck. She shared photos of the doll in a tweet, writing, "Car with a lynched Colin Kaepernick Doll in San Jose, CA. And they swear Bay Area is free of hate."
She added in another tweet: "This is racist no matter the intention (ie. Raiders v niner rivalry)."
Rob says he has been driving around with the Kaepernick doll for three years and that he's misunderstood.
"I’m just a Raider fan, nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with race," he said, all dressed up in his Raiders "Black Hole" costume.
He continued to say that he used to have a Sourdough Sam 49ers mascot doll hanging from his bumper before it was stolen. The truck owner says he's willing to reconsider the Kaepernick doll.
#Update:— scott budman (@scottbudman) April 25, 2019
I spoke to “Raider Rob” - who has a Kaepernick doll hanging from his bumper - about the response on Twitter.
He says “I don’t want to piss anybody off, but if I hung a Tom Brady doll, people would say I’m anti-American.” pic.twitter.com/XKsedVRpHL
This is a Colin Kaepernick doll hanging, on a chain, from the bumper of a truck.— scott budman (@scottbudman) April 25, 2019
The owner, “Raider Rob,” says he just doesn’t like the 49ers.
I pressed him on the history of this image, he told me I was “PC.” pic.twitter.com/7XrsEwrRJ4
"I don’t want to p--- anybody off, but if I hung a Tom Brady doll, people would say I’m anti-American," he said.
Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the 49ers, made national headlines in 2016 when he kneeled during national anthems to bring attention to racial and social injustice as well as police brutality.
Kaepernick's decision to take a knee during "The Star-Spangled Banner" sparked a wave of similar protests by other players in the league. It also drew criticism from some people who viewed the protests as being un-American and disrespectful to the flag.
NBC Bay Area's Brendan Weber contributed to this report.