Kaepernick, as we all know, courageously refused to stand for the national anthem at NFL games to protest institutional and police violence against the African American community in the United States. His stance was followed by other players and provoked a much needed debate and discussion.
Since leaving as quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, and despite his clear talent, no team has been willing to sign Kaepernick, not even as a backup.
As Jason Reid noted in The Undefeated:
Colin Kaepernick may never play in the NFL again. Let that sink in. A mobile, 29-year-old quarterback who in the past five seasons started in two NFC championship games and one Super Bowl and amassed a touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio that ranks among the best in NFL history is out of the league without an apparent opening to get back in...
...For some time, some African-American players have expressed anger that, in their opinion, Kaepernick is effectively being blackballed by owners because of his political stance. And there’s ample evidence to support that argument.
As Dria Roland put it about the rank hypocrisy of this blackballing:
Because in the NFL, it is OK:Some NFL players, notably Michael Bennett and Malcolm Jenkins have continued Kaepernick's protest on the field. A protest is also being organized at NFL headquarters on August 23 that has the support of some high profile backers like Spike Lee. Kaepernick even got support from an unexpected source as a group of New York City police officers rallied in his defense.
But in the NFL, it is not OK:
- for an athlete to be accused of sexual assault twice and keep working.
- for an athlete to knock his fiancée out cold in an elevator and keep working.
- for an athlete be convicted of assault, get signed to America's Team, and keep working.
- for an athlete to abuse his wife for years and keep working.
- for an athlete to kill someone in a DUI and keep working.
- for an athlete to serve prison time for financing a dogfighting operation and keep working.
- to name an entire team a racial slur.
- to spy on other teams and deflate balls in championship games.
- for players to advocate for same-sex marriage rights.
- for a player to engage in silent protest, as Kaepernick has learned.
Now a group of African American civil rights activists and religious figures have started a #BlackOut movement that seeks to hit the NFL owners where it hurts -- in their pocketbooks. The group advocates for fans to "Boycott the NFL (no games, no fantasy football, no jerseys, no nothing)" as well as:
2. Commit to one-two hours during the NFL season to using the time you would have watching games to mentor young black boys and girls.They have released a powerful, moving video to backup their call:
3. Spread the word to others.
4. “Take a knee” in prayer at 6 a.m. each morning.
The call to boycott really is the last weapon left for the public to not simply show solidarity with Kaepernick but to express their dismay and disgust at the McCarthyism and racism at work here.
It is time to #BlackOut the NFL and its products and to spread the word so that the owners are forced to listen to the only language that they understand, the language of money.
You can follow the protest and developments on their Facebook page.
See also: Black Lives Matter is right -- The police are the oppressor
See also: You cannot 'discriminate' against the police. They are agents of discrimination.