By taking a knee, ex-NFL QB Colin Kaepernick sent a powerful message heard widely throughout America and the world. For Patrick Lam, co-founder of Munky King, the message resonated personally as husband of an African-American woman, father to two mixed-race children, and Uncle to a nephew who died under mysterious circumstances after a traffic stop by police. Moved to act, to support the cause of racial equality put front and center by Kaepernick, Patrick reached out to kaNO to create The Messenger, a vinyl figure of Kap on one knee, a powerful symbol of protest and resistance. We’re looking forward to seeing a proto of the figure at DesignerCon. Hit the jump for the official press release.
“As a Niners fan, it was inspiring to see Colin Kaepernick take Muhammad Ali’s journey from hotshot to activist. Being an Asian man, I have a certain amount of privilege when it comes to the police. But my wife is African American and we have 2 kids. I recently had the “hoodie talk” with my 13 year old son. So it’s personal.
And it became more so on February 23rd, 2017, when my nephew Greg Benton ended up like other Black men after a traffic stop by police…unjustifiably dead. But Greg was not the thug they made him out to be on their reports and on TV. I spent my first real Christmas with him when he was 8. Even in his 30’s he called me Uncle Pat. He was a father, a brother, and a son. We miss him dearly.
We reached out to our longtime friend and artist, kaNO, to design a figure around the now iconic image of Kap taking a knee. And although this issue has polarized America, kaNO did not hesitate to lend his name and talents to the project.
Like a raised fist or a burning monk, Kap’s symbolic gesture calls attention to an issue of basic civil rights. It’s not about the Flag or the National Anthem. Which is why we’re calling this piece… The Messenger.” – Patrick Lam, Munky King