We the undersigned, by virtue of this petition, are expressing our intense disappointment in response to the "Blackout" of Mr. Kaepernick by the 32 owners of the NFL.
Colin Kaepernick, in honor of the United States Constitution, engaged in "peaceful protest" taking a knee and refusing to stand for the National Anthem during the 2016 NFL season. His actions were inspired by the countless police murders of innocent Black people, including Little Bobby Hutton, Fred Hampton, Rekia Boyd, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Ezel Ford, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Tamir Rice, Freddy Grey, Tyisha Miller, Michael Brown, Philando Castille, Natasha McKenna, Alton Sterling, and countless others.
Central to Colin's treatment by the NFL is the age-old question of race, which often dictates your treatment in this nation, particularly if your political views and actions are considered contrary to mainstream thought, or ideology. Further, if you happen to be an athlete, you are expected to keep your mouth shut on controversialized socio/political issues and play ball.
This stated, Colin Kaepernick comes to us in the Black Activists Athletic tradition of Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, John Carlos, Tommy Smith, Bill Russell, Jim Brown and Curt Flood.
Colin sat down for the National Anthem because he was standing up for justice, and putting his money where his mouth is by pledging his donation of $1 Million, in addition to all the proceeds of his jersey sales from 2016 season to organizations working in systematically oppressed communities.
Dedicated to justice, Colin has donated $25K to each of the following organizations: Assata's Daughters, a Chicago group focusing on Black female empowerment in the tradition of Assata Shakur; H.O.M.E. that provides beds and furniture to "singled" mothers in Atlanta, Georgia; Grassroots Leadership in Austin, Texas, which includes covering four weekend intensive workshops with community members; and Urban Underground and I Will Not Die Youth Campaign, both Milwaukee organizations focused on keeping youth alive, inspired and empowered. To learn of the many other organizations Colin has supported, and view his plans for 2017, visit: http://kaepernick7.com/million-dollar-pledge/.
These men are remembered and revered not only for their actions on the field, in the ring, or on the court--they all transcended their respective sport, and affected change in the larger society. Unfortunately, they were all in some way, shape or form, demeaned, marginalized, discriminated against, and attacked by an America unwilling to open its eyes to the stark reality of being Black in a western society that promotes terrorism, nationalism, and state sponsored murder.
In closing, and again, by virtue of signing this petition and a strong letter to the NFL owners demanding justice for Colin, we vow to refrain from supporting a league where 66% of the players are Black, yet 0% of Blacks own a team.
No Sunday morning, Thursday evening, nor Monday night NFL-affiliated games for us this year. At least not until Mr. Colin's constitutional rights are respected, and he is afforded an opportunity to earn a living playing a game, where as a star quarterback, he has performed better than 90% of those currently signed to NFL teams! In the meantime and beyond whatever decision the NFL makes, we get to BUYcott the NFL by continuing (for some of us, beginning) to support/create/empower independent Black-owned leagues and businesses indefinitely.
We stand 4 Truth!