When Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton faced off on the football field, one photo of the two went viral. The image shows Afro-haired Kaepernick turning toward Newton, who had his mouth ajar.
Photographers captured the reportedly staged image after Newton’s Carolina Panthers played Kaepernick’s San Francisco 49ers Sunday.
The Panthers ultimately beat the 49ers 46-27, but many took the photo and imagined the conversation between the quarterbacks.
Most tweets focused on the athletes’ opposing views on racial injustice in America.
After Kaepernick announced his protest of the national anthem in August, it created a divide on social media.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” he said to NFL.com.
When ESPN asked Newton about Kaepernick’s political position, he responded in a colorblind manner.
“What I can’t fathom is how does one-eighth of an inch — something so small — be the difference in such a big commodity in our whole lifetime,” he said of race and skin tone. “Under that, we’re all the same color.”
Based on their differing stances, Briantelevision1 imagined Newton asked Kaepernick why he did not rise for the American flag.
Cam: “Why didn’t you stand up for the flag?”
Kaepernick: “Why didn’t you dive for the ball” pic.twitter.com/er3vhnn0d1
— Briantelevision1 (@BrianHudson718) September 18, 2016
@pettyflocko took on Newton’s declaration that America is “beyond race.”
They imagined the Panthers player told Kaepernick “all lives matter.” The 49ers star did not take it well.
cam newton: all lives ma–
colin kaepernick: boy if you don’t get pic.twitter.com/3i1P2hRpJg
— hobbes. (@pettyflocko) September 19, 2016
Meanwhile, Rod, a Black podcaster, guessed Newton would favor pop singer Taylor Swift over pro-Black Beyoncé.
“Honestly I prefer Taylor Swift to Beyoncé. She’s the real queen of pop.” pic.twitter.com/8oJwNyUyQr
— Rod (@rodimusprime) September 18, 2016
@OvaTimePodcast made a reference to the 1985 cult classic The Last Dragon and its villain Sho’nuff.
The Last Dragon 2. Whose the master??? “Shonuff” https://t.co/tWPuda2Rcc
— Really!!! 63 points. (@OvaTimePodcast) September 18, 2016
Lip Gallagher thought Newton declared “slavery was a long time ago” before demanding Kaepernick get a hair cut.
“Slavery was a long time ago, get a haircut Colin” pic.twitter.com/5wDDv0mdQv
— Lip Gallagher (@tonestradamus) September 18, 2016
Richie Loco took a page out of the #KapSoBlack hashtag, which called attention to Kaepernick’s 1970s-style afro.
He imagined the two footballers speaking in decades-old slang.
Cam: Oh you think you one bad motha..”
Kap: Shut yo trap, sucka! Just keep on shuckin and jivin for the man. pic.twitter.com/gIGX0BGnn3
— Richie Loco (@Richie_l0c0) September 18, 2016
Tackling the controversy over the death of Harambe the ape earlier this year, BrifodesYT pictured Kaepernick telling Newton the animal “was just a gorilla.”
Colin: Harambe was just a gorilla
Cam: #ColinKaepernick #CamNewton pic.twitter.com/3kH1bKQXpz
— BrifodesYT (@brifodes1) September 19, 2016
@PercivalPenman gave the image a dramatic title.
@Smooth_Orator The Token and The Race Man: A Play in Three Acts
— #NUKSZN2K16 (@PercivalPenman) September 18, 2016