CHICAGO (CBS) — Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick say he deserves the right to play.
Kaepernick, who didn’t stand during the national anthem last year, is a free agent, but no team has picked him up.
As a result, the advocacy group Standing 4 Kaepernick is organizing protests at every NFL stadium this season, according to the group’s Facebook page. The protests are described as follows:
We will be staging protests at the first game played at every NFL stadium this season.
Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest of police brutality and other racial injustices has led to him being blackballed by the NFL.
NFL owners have either decided to punish Kaepernick for taking this stand OR that it’s best for business to sweep these issues under the rug. Either option is UNACCEPTABLE!
The issues Colin raised cannot be ignored, and the people he is fighting for will not be taken for granted.
The NFL will continue to silence and punish players who speak out against oppression unless we make them pay in terms of their image, ratings, and sales.
BY STANDING 4 KAEPERNICK, WE ARE STANDING FOR PLAYERS’ ABILITY TO RAISE AWARENESS BY TAKING SMALL STEPS SUCH AS NOT STANDING FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM WITHOUT LOSING THEIR JOBS.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW…
– Stay tuned to this page for information about upcoming meetings and protest details.
– This is a peaceful protest that is meant to support athletes’ ability to engage in peaceful protests. We do not condone ANY violence or damage caused.
Chicago’s protest was held outside Soldier Field on Sunday as the Bears opened the season by hosting the Falcons.
“The situation with Kaepernick is dead wrong when it comes down to the NFL because Kaepernick did not break any laws — he exercised his First Amendment right, and he spoke up,” community activist Tio Hardimann said.
Hardimann was among protesters who are asking football fans to say “no” to the NFL and not watch any of the games this weekend.
Mark Fritz, a Bears fan, had nothing to do with the rally, but even he called it “odd” that Kaepernick hasn’t been signed.
“Personally, I would never kneel during the national anthem, but I respect his right to do so,” he said.
Kaepernick has made it clear that he will stand for the national anthem if he’s signed by a team this season, confident that his actions last year have sufficiently raised awareness to the issue of violence and unfair treatment against people of color, CBS Sports reported.