Last year, after the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight, gunshots rang out in the streets of Las Vegas. Like any other person, Seattle Seahawks' star Michael Bennett ran to look for cover.
That's when,"Las Vegas police officers singled [him] out and pointed their guns at [him] for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time."
He was forced to the ground by the officer who then placed his pistol against his head and told him he would blow his "f****g head off."
This was a clear example of police brutality, and it shows that even some of America's most wealthy and famous African-Americans are not immune to mistreatment at the hands of law enforcement. Its instances like the one above that moved 49ers' QB Colin Kaepernick to take a knee
in protest of police brutality against African-Americans in 2016. The protest caught fire in 2017 as many more players joined Kaepernick's movement.
Now, two years after the original protest, the NFL has sent a definitive message to its players — shut up and stand up. Today, in a shameful stand against their players right to free and peaceful speech, the NFL has announced that they are banning kneeling on the field.
Players who choose not to stand for the national anthem can hide their displeasure by staying inside the team locker room during the anthem but if they do it on the field, their entire team could be fined and the individual players could face other penalties.
When some of America's largest companies and the NFL sponsors were finally asked how they felt about the protest, six of them, including Nike, Anheuser-Busch, Bose, Ford, Hyundai, and Under Armour, spoke out in support of the players right to free speech
Now, many Americans are waiting to see what they do in response to the league's new egregious policy.
The league's new policy is not only offensive, it's contradictory. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the ban is to ensure that players and others show respect for the flag and the anthem. But if there is one thing that the flag represents, it's freedom
, and that includes the freedom to dissent when you want to take a stand against a social ill. Especially when that ill affects nearly 70% of its players as African-Americans. Care2 is calling on Nike, Anheuser-Busch, Bose, Ford, Hyundai, and Under Armour to put their money where their mouth is and stand in support of free speech and against police brutality. Sign the petition and tell the six sponsors to end their partnership with the NFL.