Padma Lakshmi sparks controversy with Colin Kaepernick shirt on Super Bowl Sunday: 'Just lost all respect for you'

Padma Lakshmi showed her support for Colin Kaepernick ahead of Sunday night's Super Bowl. (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Just a few hours ahead of the Super Bowl, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi posted a photo of herself to Instagram wearing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s jersey. “Shout out to courage,” she captioned the post. The 49ers are playing the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV — without Kaepernick, who hasn’t played professionally since 2017, following outcry over his decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest over police brutality against people of color.

Lakshmi’s charged statement immediately started a back and forth in her comments section. Some fans supported her stance, writing, “When people ask me who I’m cheering for, I say [Kaepernick].”

“Yasssss queen‼️” added a supporter. “I’ve been rockin’ my 7 {Kaepernick’s jersey number] tee‼️”

“How brave,” another fan wrote.

But others slammed her show of support for Kaepernick.

“Just lost all respect for you!” one critic commented.

“Sorry gotta disagree with you on this,” added another commenter.

“What courage? Kneeling for the national anthem? Wearing a shirt with Fadel Castros [sic] picture on it? Making more money bashing the U.S. than playing football?” read another comment.

Director Ava DuVernay also tweeted in support of Kaepernick, posting a link to an article about how the NFL has seemingly erased him from their memory.

Today during the Super Bowl, the National Football League and its allies will sanitize and co-opt a black protest movement,” she wrote in reference to an ad scheduled to air during the game. “I refuse to watch that happen before my eyes as if it’s all good. Some things are worth more than an afternoon of football.”

Many in DuVernay’s comments posted about how they have been boycotting the NFL since the Kaepernick controversy went down.

“My NFL boycott continues,” one commenter wrote. “I have not watched a game since Kap.”

Kaepernick hasn’t posted anything official on his social media about the game, but he has reposted a few re-imaginings of the NFL logo with a tongue-in-cheek new logo: “NAH.”

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