An Atlanta street artist is talking about conspiracies after a mural he painted of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was destroyed days before Atlanta hosted the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The mural was created by Fabian Williams in 2017, the year after Kaepernick began his national anthem protests.
Along with Kaepernick, who claimed his protests were in response to unfair treatment of minorities by the police, Williams painted boxing legend Muhammad Ali on the abandoned building on the corner of Fair Street and Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard.
— Marco Ferrer (@FerrerMafehn) February 2, 2019
The mural survived a fire six months ago, but during the final few days leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl in Atlanta, the building and the mural were torn down, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“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,” Williams said. “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 said he never sought permission from the owner of the building to paint the mural, but insisted the owner was supportive.
“He said he liked it,” Williams said. “But said that the city was complaining to him about it.”
Williams was stunned that the building had been demolished.
“I figured at some point they would tear the building down, but it has been sitting up this whole time,” Williams said. “The fact that the Super Bowl happens here and the weekend when the festivities are gearing up, the building gets demolished is very odd.”
He said the demolition contained too many elements of coincidence to be a coincidence.
The Kaepernick/Muhammad Ali mural in Atlanta destroyed on the 1st day of Black History Month, Super Bowl weekend. pic.twitter.com/84BYXSZgKy
— kamau (@Aye_JohnBoi) February 3, 2019
“The biggest thing, I feel like, was it happened today. It’s the first day of Black History Month and you demolish that building? Come on man. I just can’t believe they would choose this day, unless it was just a middle finger.”
“The fact that Kaepernick is at this point a living civil rights icon, and you choose Black History Month to demolish his symbol, that’s a f— you. That’s what it is. Especially if it goes to the point where they demolish a symbol of the player they got rid of because he made a point to speak out on inequality and disparity. That’s the guy you don’t like?” Williams said, as reported by WVEE.
Williams said that in response to the demolition of the mural he did in 2017, other murals are being painted on Sunday, WVEE reported.
Kaepernick was unable to find another NFL team to take him after the year he launched his protest, so Williams put him in an Atlanta Falcons uniform.
“I thought Atlanta, because of our civil rights history, would be a perfect place for him,” Williams said.
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