Wednesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. EST, roughly 50 people met outside NFL headquarters in New York City to protest the league’s supposed blackball of Colin Kaepernick.
The protest was organized by Kevin Livingston, the president of a non-profit organization called “100 suits for a 100 men,” which gives suits to parolees who need them for job interviews. Kaepernick recently donated 50 suits to this organization.
Among the people who attended this protest were Livington, New York senator James Sanders Jr., Emerald Snipes (the daughter of Eric Garner, whom police choked to death in 2014), William Bell (the father of Sean Bell, whom police shot to death in 2006), and former NBA player Etan Thomas. Kaepernick did not attend — he was visiting the Seattle Seahawks who may sign him in the coming days.
Here is what the protesters said:
Livingston: “Let me make this very clear. America, look at me. This is not our last stop. We are going to stay diligent. We are watching. Our wallets are watching. We are consumers. And we are going to continue to keep pressure to make sure Colin Kaepernick not only gets finished being blackballed, but he’s signed to an NFL team.”
Sanders Jr.: “Brother Colin, you stood with us when we weren’t even standing. So of course, we stand with you right now. And thank you for everybody who have come out. Sometimes taking a knee is actually standing up.”
Snipes: “You want to tell me that because this man took a knee for us, that we’re the ones that have to suffer and not see him play? I don’t really watch football like that, but I know that he took a knee for us. So now, we stand with him. And it’s not right that these cops get to walk away scot-free after they kill these unarmed men, and this one NFL player who stood up for us is getting all of this blackball, all of this backlash. It’s not right.”
Bell: “The reason I’m here, before anybody asks — support that young man. Because he did something that a lot of people couldn’t do, was afraid to do. He stood up. Stood up for the individual cruelty of what is going on with human beings. Not because of the color — because they’re human beings. We’ve got to start thinking about that. All lives matter. I lost my son 10 years ago. That’s why I support this young man, because he’s young. And he made a statement that a lot of young people are afraid to do, and a lot of old people also. We’ve got to think about that. We’ve got to start sticking together more and start being about what we believe in.”
Thomas: “You never wanted us to have justice. Did everything in your power to conquer our spirit. Inhibit our progress while subduing our strength. Pinching our passion, you wanted us to fail. To fall flat on our faces. Fulfilling your wish for our dreams to be deferred. Suffocating our desires to attain our goals. You wanted our aspirations to exist merely as a figment of our imaginations, never to escape into the realms of reality, but only existing within the fallacies of our thoughts. Through cerebral failures, you wanted us to experience conceptual breakdowns. To give up on our hopes, kidnap our wishes and steal our desires. Perceptual shakedowns. Why would you aspire to see our universes crumble? Take pleasure in seeing us stumble off our path? Your media personalities like Stephen A. Smith and Jason Whitlock would conspire against us. Bidding for our downfall. Calling on roadblocks to impede our progress, knocking us off track. Sending us back to the depths of failure where dreams refuse to glow in the dark. What-should-have-beens ponder possibilities while opportunities slip through the cracks of their victory, backing down their chances at success. You would love for your words to knock us down for the count. For us not to withstand your verbal beat down. For our pride to become swollen shut in need of our trainer to cut us, and blurring our vision you wanted to keep us trapped in the loser’s box. But guess what? Like Saul Williams, we start combing our minds so our thoughts could lock. I’m so glad we’re ignoring you. Paying you any attention is something we can’t afford to do. With your condescending all-lives-matter smiles to lure us into your trust. Busting through walls. Refuse to lose. You can’t capture our passion with nets of disaster. We’re avoiding your sacks like quarterbacks. Call us Colin Kaepernick, refusing to stand for your negative advances. We will never dance to your tune. We’re dismissing your songs of doom. You want this soon to be coming to our theater, to be a box-office smash crushing our will to succeed. Your shots of destruction can’t harm we for our desire is bullet proof, so keep bustin’ at our joy. We’re catching the bullets in our teeth like we’re Bruce Leroy. Because we’ve got the glow of God within us. And prosper not will any weapons formed against us. So guess what? Your desires to destroy us will never, ever stop us.”
Do you think this protest helped Kaepernick? And do you think he will sign soon with the Seahawks? Why or why not?