The NFL’s New Social Justice Ad Features Players Kneeling But No Colin Kaepernick

The ad led to Colin Kaepernick trending on Twitter during Sunday night’s Super Bowl.

During the Super Bowl, the NFL aired an ad called “Inspire Change,” which showed NFL players wearing helmets adorned with the names of victims of police brutality, including Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and Eric Garner, as well as photos and videos of protesters and NFL athletes taking a knee, a form of protest popularized by Colin Kaepernick.

“The NFL is committing $250 million to help end systemic racism,” text reads toward the end of the commercial. “While the season is over, our fight for social justice is not.”

The ad has since faced criticism for its omission of Kaepernick, who is nowhere to be found in the video. Although its Kaepernick who, throughout 2016 and 2017, protested against police brutality by taking a knee during the anthem, which resulted in the rise of other athletes trying to raise awareness of police brutality and social injustice (and where the NFL is today in regards to committing to social justice issues), he’s nowhere to be found in the commercial.

Amid its airing, people took to social media to criticize the ad and how it fails to acknowledge Kaepernick for his contributions.

Even Mariah Carey seemed to shade the NFL for its commercial, taking to Twitter to write: “Happy Colin KAepernick Appreciation Day!”

In related news, Snapshat premiered its documentary series on KaepernickColin Kaepernick Vs the World — during Super Bowl weekend. The docuseries explores his early life, his rise as a NFL quarterback, and his impact as an activist.

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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Elijah C. Watson

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