As far as proposed boycotts go, this may be the weirdest in history.
Supporters of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who achieved notoriety by refusing to stand for the national anthem to protest police killings, are calling for a boycott of the NFL until he gets “an equal opportunity at making a roster for the upcoming season.”
Taking Kaepernick’s side is the NAACP and some former New York City policemen, including Frank Serpico.
Kaepernick has been struggling to find a new team since opting out of his contract after last season.
His backers say NFL team owners have blackballed Kaepernick because he staged a one-man protest last season on behalf of African-Americans and other minorities – by kneeling instead of standing for the national anthem before each week’s game.
But critics have said his refusal to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” has been disrespectful to the nation and its service members.
His supporters defended him Saturday.
The NAACP called for a boycott of NFL games until Kaepernick gets an equal opportunity at making a roster for the upcoming season.
“There will be no football in the state of Georgia if Colin Kaepernick is not on a training camp roster and given an opportunity to pursue his career,” Gerald Griggs of the Atlanta NAACP told Fox 5.
Riggs warned that if Kaepernick remains unsigned to a deal as of 5 p.m. Sept. 17, “We are going to have the world’s largest tailgate, and that tailgate will not go into Mercedes-Benz Stadium.” (Riggs was referring to the new $1.6 billion home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.)
“We will take a knee, and we will continue to take a knee on the NFL until they act with one voice,” Riggs said.
The threat of a nationwide boycott is meant to send a message to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the owners of the NFL’s 32 teams, Riggs said.
In New York, Serpico and other current and former NYPD officers wore T-shirts reading “#imwithkap” during a gathering in Brooklyn.
He’s trying to hold up this government, up to our founding fathers,” said Serpico, 81, who was portrayed by Al Pacino in the 1973 film, “Serpico.”
Professional sports may be one of the last bastions in what used to be an American way of life: meritocracy. In sports, if you’re better than anyone else, you play. It really is that simple and Kaepernick — a marginal player at best who could latch on as a backup player — does not possess the skill set to play regularly in the NFL.
Trying to force owners to sign a subpar player because the NAACP says so is just plain weird. Many fans believe he is not a patriotic American and they might stage their own boycott if Kaepernick is signed to their team. And I got news for the NAACP: There are more of them than you.
Perhaps the NAACP would like to choose the starting lineup for every NFL team? They want to dictate whom the teams must hire so why not go a step further and write up who gets to play and who doesn’t?
I don’t see why it has to stop there. The NAACP should have their own skybox where they can call the plays. They want to run the damn teams, let them.
Colin Kaepernick is not being “blackballed.” And if he is, it’s a rational business decision not to take on a controversial character who will detract from the product owners are putting on the field.
It’s not personal, Colin. It’s strictly business.