Watch: Colin Kaepernick Fans Stage Rally At NFL HQ, Demand Signing Of QB
More than 1,000 supporters of Colin Kaepernick gathered around the steps of the NFL headquarters in New York on Wednesday to express solidarity with the free-agent quarterback, who drew headlines last preseason for protesting the national anthem to make a statement on police brutality against minorities and general racial injustice.
Colin Kaepernick rally news
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) August 23, 2017
No NFL team has stepped up to sign Kaepernick, 29, since he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March. The NFL fans who crowded the league offices at Wednesday’s rally chanted “Boycott! Boycott!” and “I’m with Kap!” among other things to demand that a team step up to sign the biracial QB, who sat or knelt to protest the playing of the national anthem before several games last season.
— Coy Wire (@CoyWire) August 23, 2017
Kaepernick’s protest has been mirrored by dozens of NFL players and other professional athletes in different ways: sitting, kneeling, raising fists, linking arms. These demonstrations initially began after a series of incidents of unarmed blacked men being shot and killed by law enforcement. Now, they carry an even stronger meaning in the wake of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other alt-right hate groups clashed with counter-protesters following a rally intended to make a statement opposing the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) August 23, 2017
“How in the world can we call ourselves the land of the free, the home of the brave, and you get vilified and criminalized just for speaking your mind?” the Rev. Jamal Bryant said. “The NFL has proven with their treatment of Colin Kaepernick that they do not mind if black players get a concussion. They just got a problem if black players get a conscience.”
The march comes after Major League Baseball legend Hank Aaron told the Tom Joyner Morning Show that he hopes to see more NFL players support Kaepernick and that he will no longer be watching football games until a team signs the QB. The NAACP also sent out a public statement to the NFL requesting a meeting with league Commissioner Roger Goodell, who recently stated he opposes the national anthem protests.
The NAACP’s state president in New York, Hazel Dukes, said: “Right now, the action of the league seems to imply to young black men that this league, which is comprised of 70 percent African-Americans, only values black lives if they are wearing a football uniform.”
Among the famous athletes who turned out at Wednesday’s rally to express solidarity with Kaepernick was Team USA Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad:
Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad was in attendance at the United We Stand rally pic.twitter.com/6bwmYbeJML
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) August 23, 2017
The most popular shirt out here today….. pic.twitter.com/0J3FykNxID
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) August 23, 2017
Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon was also present at the rally:
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) August 23, 2017
Kaepernick — who led the 49ers to a 3-16 record the past two seasons — has also been known for his charitable work in the San Francisco community and in other parts of the country. The Milwaukee native — who was drafted by the 49ers as a second-round pick in 2011 — has bought suits for former convicted felons to help them land job and helped raise funds to fly food and water supply to famine-stricken nations like Somalia, among other humanitarian efforts.
The free agent — who helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl following the 2012 season — also recently donated $34,000 to rapper J. Cole’s Dreamville Foundation, which is dedicated to helping disadvantaged urban youth. Details of the specific types of projects these funds will help the organization towards have not yet been released.
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, this donation — along with the $33,000 donation of men’s suits and a separate donation of $33,000 to the Lower East Side Girls Club in New York City — brings Kaepernick’s charitable giving total to $800,000. The free agent pledged to donate $1 million to community charities last September.
Colin Kaepernick donates another $100K on way to $1M pledge, now at $800K total. Detail of where $ goes is admirable. pic.twitter.com/22oS4Is97v
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 23, 2017
BUFFALO, NY – OCTOBER 16: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers looks to throw against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at New Era Field on October 16, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)