Take Action: Don’t Let Trump Bully the NFL Into Silencing Players

Privacy on the internet at stake through surveillance and data piracy
DRAD Joins 40 Groups to Warn Congress That Spy Bill Is Full Of Loopholes That Will Allow Continued Spying on Americans
October 13, 2017
Video surveillance cameras for monitoring on streets
Activists Work for Surveillance Transparency in Cambridge
October 13, 2017

In 2016, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem to protest the fact that police officers kill African-Americans with impunity. For peacefully protesting continued racial injustice in the United States, Kaepernick was met with hatred and vitriol.

Today, Kaepernick is, coincidently enough, out of a job, but the peaceful protest he started has spread rapidly throughout the NFL. And as these protests spread, the vitriol has only grown.

Take action: Support the Players’ Right to Protest

The President of United States, apparently not having a very busy schedule, has repeatedly taken to Twitter to demonize the predominantly African-American players taking a stand for civil rights. The Vice President, similarly a busy man, staged a publicity stunt when he made a trip to Indianapolis, costing up to $200,000 in public money, to attend a game in order to stomp out in a fit when some players took the knee, in order to further whip up the frenzy.

They are trying to shift the narrative, as our government always does, by calling into question the patriotism of those who protest. The issue is not patriotism, the issue is injustice, and we can not let Trump tell us the ‘right’ way to protest.

Take Action: Taking a Knee Is the Right Way to Protest

The President is leaning heavily on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the team owners to silence the players. And it seems to be working. Goodell voiced his willingness to coerce athletes to “honor our flag and our country” in the way the President wants them to. The team owners will meet next week and this will be at the top of their agenda.

This morning, Russell Okung, a Los Angeles Chargers lineman posted a letter on The Players’ Tribune in an effort to organize the players. He admits that at first, he didn’t approve of Kaepernick’s protest, but now he says,

There is now no doubt in my mind that what [Kaepernick] did last season was a courageous, prophetic, self-sacrificial act that has captivated a nation and inspired a powerful movement.

We agree.

The movement is powerful, thus the backlash against it. Okung is trying to take the narrative back. This isn’t about the flag, or the military, it’s about police violence against Black Lives that goes unpunished. It’s about the right to call attention to injustice in order to end it.

Take Action: Stand Up for the Players’ Right to Take a Knee

Chip Gibbons

This action is a coalition effort by the following groups:
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Color of Change
Daily Kos
Defending Rights & Dissent
Democracy in Color
Jobs With Justice
Left Action
PEN America
People For the American Way
People’s Action
The Nation
United We Dream