Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality against Blacks, showed their solidarity with him and his cause at a rally outside National Football League headquarters on Wednesday, demanding that he be signed by the start of the regular season next month.
More than 1,000 people, many wearing jerseys bearing Kaepernick’s name, crowded the steps outside the NFL’s midtown Manhattan offices. Kaepernick, who once took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, opted out of his contract with the team in March and remains unsigned. Supporters say he is being blackballed for his advocacy, but some critics say he should not have sat or kneeled during the anthem or contend his lack of a job is more about his on-field talent. Chants at the demonstration included “Boycott! Boycott!”
Earlier Wednesday, the NAACP called for a meeting with the NFL to discuss the fate of Kaepernick, who was born to a white woman and a black man but was adopted by a white couple. 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.