There are roughly 1,696 players in the NFL and 70% are Black men. That’s about 1,187 players on any given Sunday that should understand the challenges of driving, shopping, dining out, and partying while Black.
They should understand the position of QB Colin Kaepernick who refused to stand for the singing of the National Anthem last year right before every professional NFL game.
Colin Kaepernick explained the philosophy behind why he’s sitting during the national anthem in an interview with SFGate.com:
So many people see the flag as a symbol of the military. How do you view it and what do you say to those people?
I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought have for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.
Are you concerned that this can be seen as a blanket indictment of law enforcement in general?
There is police brutality. People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable.
Do you want to expand on that?
You have Hillary who has called black teens or black kids super predators, you have Donald Trump who’s openly racist. We have a presidential candidate who has deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me because if that was any other person you’d be in prison. So, what is this country really standing for?
It is a country that has elected a black president twice…
It has elected a black president but there are also a lot of things that haven’t changed. There are a lot of issues that still haven’t been addressed and that’s something over an 8-year term there’s a lot of those things are hard to change and there’s a lot of those things that he doesn’t necessarily have complete control over.
What would be a success?
That’s a tough question because there’s a lot of things that need to change, a lot of different issues that need to be addressed. That’s something that it’s really hard to lock down one specific thing that needs to change currently.
Well, despite his fellow players being silent, save a couple, the community is supporting the afro, bearded QB. Here’s a Instagram post from Activist/Organizer Tamika D. Mallory.
Let’s really think about this black and brown people. This is a very important moment in history for us collectively. Do we have POWER or nah? Are we going to be so self centered and disconnected that we allow @kaepernick7 to be blackballed. There have been reports that #ravens fans are vocally calling for the team NOT to sign Colin. The question we must ask ourselves is what kind of power do we have. We talk about #unity. Here’s our moment. And unfortunately just turning off the games is not enough. I wish it were that simple… There must be an economic impact. We have to actually make someone feel it 🤔… This is that moment for us y’all!
“African-American males are only six percent of the United States population, but comprise nearly 70 percent of the players in the National Football League” said VICE. The NFL’s 32 teams earned around $12 billion in 2015 with merchandise sales over $1.55 billion.
As for Colin Kaepernick’s contribution to league revenue, the 49ers quarterback had the 3rd highest selling jersey in 2014 and 7th most coveted jersey in 2015. You can still get your Colin Kaepernick jersey at NFLShop.com for $99. Yeah, he’s not even signed to a team right now, but the NFL is making money off him.
That’s why Black people are watching the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick who organizers of the boycott say, “knelt for us, and now we must stand for him!” Check to the video below and go to www.standingforkaepernick.org for more info.