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Navy Investigates Video of Dogs Attacking Man in Kaepernick Jersey

The U.S. Navy command that oversees the SEALs is investigating a video of dogs attacking a man in a Colin Kaepernick jersey at a 2019 event in Florida, the authorities said this week.

The Naval Special Warfare Command on Sunday condemned the incident, which it described as “a military working dog demonstration” that took place at an “independent organization’s event” last year. A pair of videos of the event surfaced on social media over the weekend, and the recordings were soon seen more than four million times. The Naval Special Warfare Command said it had become aware of the footage on Sunday.

In one video, four dogs attack a man wearing protective equipment and a red and white football jersey with Mr. Kaepernick’s name and number when he played quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Another man can be heard describing the dogs leaping at and biting the man in the style of a play-by-play announcer.

“The inherent message of this video is completely inconsistent with the values and ethos of Naval Special Warfare and the U.S. Navy,” the command said in a statement on Twitter on Sunday responding to the video. “We are investigating the matter fully and initial indications are that there were no active-duty Navy personnel or equipment involved with this independent organization’s event.”

In the second video, a dog can be seen biting the man in the red jersey, now lying on the ground. As someone approaches him with a weapon, the man in the jersey says, “Oh, man, I will stand,” an apparent joke about Mr. Kaepernick’s gesture of kneeling during the national anthem in protest against racism and police brutality. In the video, spectators laugh.

The Miami filmmaker Billy Corben, one of the people who shared the video over the weekend, said it took place at the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, also known as the National Navy SEAL Museum, in Fort Pierce, Fla.

The UDT-SEAL Museum Association, a nonprofit organization, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. The museum describes itself as “the only museum dedicated solely to preserving the history of the U.S. Navy SEALs and their predecessors.”

A dog called Raven is named in one of the videos, and listed on the museum’s website as trained by the company Baden K-9. The company did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

Since 2016, kneeling has become a symbol in nationwide demonstrations against racism, and Mr. Kaepernick and other players have faced intense backlash by some fans and conservatives, including President Trump, who have accused them of being unpatriotic. Mr. Kaepernick, 32, left the 49ers in 2017 and has not been signed by any team since.

It was not immediately clear who had filmed the event the Navy was investigating. Mr. Corben, the filmmaker who shared the videos, said that his followers had alerted him about the videos weeks ago, but he only shared them Sunday.

“It just seemed like another disturbing Florida novelty for a Sunday afternoon,” he said. “I did not anticipate this 19-month-old video to be as newsworthy as it has become.”

Mr. Corben, who is known for sharing viral videos and breaking new stories about Florida, said he began doing so because it felt “like an extension for what I do for a living, making documentaries that are Florida-centric in most cases.”

He said that social media “enables me to share eccentric Florida stories that I would never get a chance to make a documentary about” but were “worth people’s time and attention.”


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