Today, a coalition of civil rights, faith-based and civic organizations will rally in front of NFL headquarters in New York City in support of Colin Kaepernick. The protest will take place at 5:00pm
The general protest effort is entitled “United We Stand” and will launch a non-violent effort targeting the NFL for what many have said is the blackballing of Kaepernick for protesting police brutality for taking a knee on the sidelines during the national anthem.
Kaepernick has still not been signed to a team for the 2017-18 football season even though less talented players have.
“It is clear the NFL’s intent to make an example out of Colin Kaepernick is rooted in white supremacy which dismisses the reality of the dehumanization of black bodies in America,” said Rev. Stephen Green of The People’s Consortium for Human and Civil Rights.
On Monday night, Kaepernick’s efforts got a boost when over ten members of the Cleveland Browns, including two white players, participated in a sideline prayer during the national anthem. Some players stood in protest neat the prayer, many knelt down with their heads bowed, others stood without their hand over the hearts.
Today, the NAACP announced they are requesting a meeting with the NFL over the Kaepernick issue. In a letter sent to NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, NAACP interim President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, said:
“Last season, Mr. Kaepernick chose to exercise his first amendment right by protesting the inequitable treatment of people of color in America. By quietly taking a knee during the national anthem, he was able to shine a light on the many injustices faced by people of color, particularly the issue of police misconduct toward communities of color.
As outlined in your office’s public statement, this act of dissent is well within the National Football League’s stated bylaws. Yet, as the NFL season quickly approaches, Mr. Kaepernick has spent an unprecedented amount of time as a free agent, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that this is no sheer coincidence.
No player should be victimized and discriminated against because of his exercise of free speech – to do so is in violation of his rights under the Constitution and the NFL’s own regulations.”
Whether the NAACP will be granted a meeting with the NFL is unknown but the protest at 5 p.m. today is bound to receive attention. Many are also calling for fans to refrain from watching games during this NFL season which is less than two weeks away.