Three local restaurants commissioned murals to be painted on their buildings during Sunday’s Super Bowl in Atlanta of NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick.
The restaurants decided to commission the murals as a statement of solidarity with local artist Fabian Williams (Occasional Superstar) after his mural depicting Kaepernick next to Muhammad Ali in Atlanta University Center (AUC) was destroyed when the building displaying it was demolished last Friday. It’s unclear why the building, which sat at the corner of Fair Street and Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard in the AUC near Morehouse College, was razed. The building was less than a mile from Mercedes-Benz Stadium — home to this year’s Super Bowl.
Edgewood Pizza and Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium in the Old Fourth Ward and 640 West Community Cafe in the southwest Atlanta neighborhood of West End took part in #KaeperBowl, which featured artists painting murals of Kaepernick at eight locations around Atlanta on Sunday.
Kaepernick rose to national attention after he “took a knee” in the 2016 NFL preseason during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and oppression in America. He has since been released from the San Fransisco 49ers and is currently a free agent.
The murals at Edgewood Pizza and “Church” — which also displays Williams’ mural of former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams — are less than a half mile from the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. and on the edge of The King Center. The mural at 640 West is located a half mile from the Hammond House Museum, once home to Otis Thrash Hammonds, M.D., a prominent 19th century African-American physician and patron of the arts.
In an interview with local Atlanta radio station V103’s Mike Jordan, Williams says he happened upon the destruction of the mural on his way to an interview with NPR for another one of his murals. Williams believes the timing of its destruction is no coincidence — the first day of Black History month and the weekend of the Super Bowl in Atlanta. The mural depicted Kaepernick in a number seven Atlanta Falcons jersey standing beside Ali dressed as T’Challa — the Black Panther. He says he’s known for some time “powerful people” didn’t like his mural.
Eater Atlanta has reached out to the restaurants for comment regarding their decision to commission the murals.
WABE offers a full list of mural locations around Atlanta.