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Black law enforcement group calls for NFL boycott

By Nisa Islam Muhammad -Staff Writer- | Last updated: May 24, 2017 - 2:21:41 PM

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San Francisco 49ers Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick take a knee during the National Anthem prior to their game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, North Carolina last season. -
At the Silver Spring Metro, right outside of Washington, D.C., professional football player Colin Kaepernick’s free agent status was the topic of a hot conversation. The activist quarterback made national headlines last season when he decided to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem to call attention to police brutality and social and racial injustices in the United States.

 “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Mr. Kaepernick told media when questioned about why he was kneeling. He received support as well as heavy criticism. Some cops threatened to stop working home games in response.


After he opted out of his contract this past off-season with the San Francisco 49ers whom he lead to a Super bowl in 2012, he has yet to be signed to another NFL team.

“It’s not right, man,” said Douglas Smith, a student at Montgomery College.  “I could see if he wasn’t good.  But he’s still good.  He can win games.  They just want to make him look bad.  He already said he wouldn’t take a knee and protest.  What more do they want?”

 “What they want is to show that the White man is still the boss and it don’t matter how good you are, he still controls whether you play or not,” responded Bilal Harris, a construction worker.

Both Mr. Harris and Mr. Smith join many around the country who are voicing displeasure that Mr. Kaepernick is still a free agent and has not been signed by any teams. Other quarterbacks considered less talented have been snapped up.

Black Law Enforcement Group Calls For NFL Boycott.
Blacks in Law Enforcement of America (BLEA) is responding and showing its support for Mr. Kaepernick by calling for a boycott.

“Once in a blue moon, we get an athlete who uses his star power to bring attention to the abuses of police.  Conscious people were aware of this.  It brought attention to the unjust police killings.  Many wonder why would Blacks in Law Enforcement support him?  “Many of us have been trying to do this ever since they allowed Blacks in law enforcement.  We understand the sacrifice because we get black-balled too,” Damon K. Jones, New York Representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America told The Final Call.

“Colin deserves a job.  They want to make him suffer, ‘Negro don’t get out of line.’  While he suffers, they are drafting others accused of physical and sexual assault crimes.  What was Colin’s crime?  Some say the owners have a right to not hire him.  But we have a right not to spend our money with the NFL or their sponsors,” said Mr. Jones.

The Black law enforcement group has started a petition to boycott the NFL and their sponsors until Mr. Kaepernick is signed. “This is not just about boycotting the NFL.  Pick a sponsor and boycott them.  Even if you’re not a football fan, just pick a sponsor like McDonald’s and boycott them,” said Mr. Jones.

Damon K. Jones

“Some don’t think this will work or even make a dent.  I’ve heard from people across the country.  Some don’t believe people would sign this petition.  As Blacks, we don’t understand our buying power.”

Most NFL players have been silent about the issue even though Black players comprise 70 percent of players.  On May 16, a Seattle Seahawks defensive end broke the silence.

“I think a person that’s dedicating their life to creating change, why wouldn’t you want that type of leadership in your locker room?” Michael Bennett told John Clayton and Gee Scott on 710 ESPN Seattle.

“Why wouldn’t you want a young person that’s dealt with people wanting to kill him because of his choices in life? So, I don’t know why people feel like that is a problem. I think that Kaepernick getting the opportunity to be on our team would be really cool, would really be a good place for him because you have a coach like coach [Pete] Carroll who is up for challenges like that,” Mr. Bennett added.

“You have an owner who spends and gives back to the homeless. You’ve got players on your team that give back in the community. You’ve got Russell Wilson, who shows that our team is built around community. So, this is a perfect place for him.”

Joe Thomas, a Pro Bowl left tackle for the Cleveland Browns wrote on Twitter, “Teams don’t currently view him as a starting quarterback and NFL teams accept ZERO distractions from their back up QBs.”

None of that has fazed the 29-year-old quarterback.  He has continued his commitment to help poor and disenfranchised communities.  While the NFL Draft was occurring April 29, he donated 50 of his custom-made suits to the nonprofit 100 Suits for 100 Men.  They provide free suits, haircuts and life skills to men who have been incarcerated at least five years. He has also launched a nationwide “Know Your Rights” tour and campaign aimed at empowering and educating youth.

“We are standing with Colin,” 100 Suits for 100 Men President Kevin Livingston told The Final Call.  “I told him when he was here three weeks ago that we would stand for and with him.  We showed our solidarity with Colin, May 24 at NFL Headquarters.  It started with New York but spread to 11 cities.  This was our show of solidarity.  It speaks volumes.”

Blacks in Law Enforcement of America plans to continue their petition on until Mr. Kaepernick gets signed.  “If they will blackball him, we won’t spend our money with them.  We’re going all the way to the start of the season.  If he’s not hired by then, we will continue to boycott,” said Mr. Jones.