Photos of anti-slavery advocate Frederick Douglass, words from his speech “Love of God, Love of Man, Love of Country,” and a jersey featuring former NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s number have recently turned up on the steps of City Hall, according to an article on Syracuse.com.
Ryan Powers made the signs, which, read, in part, “I know this kind of talk is not agreeable to what are called patriots. Indeed some have called me a traitor. I believe if I had a country, I should be a patriot.”
Douglass gave the speech on the steps of Syracuse City Hall on September 24, 1847, as part of an anti-slavery speaking tour he’d led across the country.
According to Powers, he hopes the signs will inspire the city to erect a statue of Douglass in front of City Hall, in commemoration of Douglass’ work in Syracuse.
However, although Powers created the signs, it is still unclear who left the signs and images on the steps, the article stated.
Kapernick has recently been singled out by media as the first professional athlete who began kneeling during the national anthem last year, in protest of police brutality.
Controversy over players kneeling during the anthem has grown in recent weeks, as teams and players have continued to engage in the practice before games.
The final poster reads: “Know Syracuse history; Make Syracuse a progressive hotbed again.”
According to a city spokesperson, city officials consider the signs and photos to be an exercise in free speech.