Agree with Kaepernick’s actions or not, he had a right to take a knee. This is free speech. Whether this was a good way to send a message about racism is another story entirely.
Kaepernick opted out of his 49ers contract in March, and attracted no suitors during the off-season. While his so-so play on the field certainly didn’t help his cause, many onlookers surmise that he is being punished for his political activism.
The NAACP is of that mindset.
The civil rights organization’s interim president, Derrick Johnson, said in a letter to the NFL’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, that it’s apparently “no sheer coincidence” that Kaepernick isn’t on a roster.
“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,” Johnson said.
Kaepernick’s supporters are holding out hope that he’ll get another shot in the NFL.
More than 1,000 people, many wearing jerseys bearing Kaepernick’s name, crowded the steps outside the NFL’s midtown Manhattan offices Wednesday, Aug. 23, demanding that he be signed.
Speaking at the pro-Kaepernick rally, Rev. Jamal Bryant said, “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 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.”
Throughout this NFL preseason, several players have knelt during the anthem.
Kaepernick may not take the field again, but his national anthem protest — like it or not — continues.