North Carolina father 'shot son after fight over NFL kneeling protest during Thanksgiving'

Esteban Marley Valencia was hit in the hand and leg but his injuries were not life threatening, police say

Sarah Harvard
New York
Friday 30 November 2018 02:40
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Colin Kaepernick (right) and Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to an NFL game in Santa Clara, California
Colin Kaepernick (right) and Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to an NFL game in Santa Clara, California

A father has been charged with shooting his son during their Thanksgiving dinner after they got into an argument about National Football League (NFL) players kneeling during the national anthem.

Esteban Marley Valencia was hit in the hand and leg, police in Cary, North Carolina said. The 21-year-old's injuries were not life threatening.

His father Jorge Luis Valencia-Lamadri was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

Mr Lamadri told investigators that the shooting occurred after Mr Valencia and his brother, Felipe Miguel Valencia, got into a brawl after arguing over the NFL’s national anthem kneeling protests.

In recent years, some NFL players have been “taking a knee,” as The Star Spangled Banner is played to protest against police brutality against African-Americans.

Former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement in 2016 and other players followed suit.

But the protest has divided the country and sparked Donald Trump's anger and the US president has called players who "disrespect" the US flag "sons of bitches" and called for them to be sacked.

Kaepernick, who is currently appearing in Nike's "Just Do It" 30th anniversary campaign, has not played in the NFL since last year and is suing the organisation, arguing team owners deliberately froze him out because of his activism.

Mr Lamadri said he attempted to break up the fight and demanded Mr Valencia—who had been drinking alcohol throughout the day—to leave the house, the CBS17 news channel reported. Mr Valencia refused to leave, provoking his father to retrieve his shotgun.

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The father and son continued to argue. Mr Lamadri then threw his son’s belongings out onto the back porch, according to police warrants. Felipe Miguel Valencia, the older brother, then proceeded to throw Mr Valencia’s bag off the back porch.

Mr Valencia fought back by throwing the family’ patio furniture and other outdoor furnishings into the backyard and towards his father, according who witnessed the altercation. Mr Lamadri said he fired his shotgun at his Mr Valencia when a water bottle he threw at him hit his face.

He was reportedly released from Wake County Jail after paying a $50,000 bond.

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