More Than 1,000 Colin Kaepernick Supporters Hold Protest Outside NFL Headquarters

More Than 1,000 Colin Kaepernick Supporters Hold Protest Outside NFL Headquarters

More Than 1,000 Colin Kaepernick Supporters Hold Protest Outside NFL Headquarters

Photo Credit: Ginny Suss for Okayplayer

Over 1,000 protesters took to the NFL headquarters in New York City to rally against Colin Kaepernick still being unsigned after being condemned for kneeling during the national anthem at various football games last year.

READ: The NFL Has Blackballed Colin Kaepernick For Standing Up For Us

The People’s Consortium for Human and Civil Rights, the organization that put together the rally, had three demands for the NFL:

1. That the NFL institute a policy to protect players’ rights to have freedom of speech, so they can kneel, raise a fist or express opinions on social issues, if they wish.

2. That the NFL establish a review board to, Green says, ‘examine issues of social injustice.’ As Tamika Mallory, a social activist and co-organizer of the 2017 Women’s March, put it in her speech, ‘The NFL, just like the NYPD, cannot police itself. Any organization that is only being looked at from within is a failing organization. There must be a unit of people internally and externally that look at racial and cultural sensitivity issues within the NFL.’

3. And that the NFL develop some sort of program to ‘reinvest into the communities in which they serve, where there are high rates of unemployment, high rates of mass incarceration. To re-invest those funds into the community,’ Green says.

A number of protesters arrived wearing Kaepernick’s jersey and provided chants such as “NFL? What the hell!” during the rally.

Actress Susan Sarandon was also in attendance, taking to Twitter to post “Rally in support of Colin Kaepernick in front of NFL. Together we win. I stand with Colin.”

The NAACP (who were also in attendance passing out these incredible t-shirts during the rally) has requested a formal meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss NFL players and their ability to exercise their First Amendment rights. An excerpt from the letter the NAACP sent to Goodell in regards to the meeting reads as follows:

Last season, Mr. Kaepernick chose to exercise his First Amendment rights by protesting the inequitable treatment of people of color in America. By quietly taking a knee during the national anthem, he was able to shine a light on the many injustices, particularly, the disproportionate occurrences of police misconduct toward communities of color. As outlined in your office’s public statement, this act of dissent is well within the National Football League’s stated bylaws. Yet, as the NFL season quickly approaches, Mr. Kaepernick has spent an unprecedented amount of time as a free agent, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that this is no sheer coincidence.

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.

Check out images taken from the rally below.

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