The NFL season kicked off with a very visible show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement this weekend. But former Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was allegedly blackballed for being amongst the first to highlight social justice on the field, say’s he’s not impressed with the league’s disingenuous “propaganda.”
Previously Kaepernick played for the 49ers but over the years has been used as a political talking point during debates about how and when Black people and their allies are allowed to protest racial injustice.
First people took issue when he first sat during the pre-game playing of the national anthem, then there was a tidal wave of backlash when after talking to members of the military and getting their feedback, he opted to instead take a knee – as a more respectful form of peaceful protest.
But now, in the wake of George Floyd‘s death and the subsequent social uprisings, players are being allowed to not just kneel but also wear the names of police brutality victims and social justice slogans on the back of helmets.
While the optics are good, Sunday, the ex-NFL QB retweeted a Deadspin article spotlighting his former teammate Eric Reid and his alleged blackballing from the NFL.
He then slammed the league’s social justice efforts, calling out what he characterizes as a hypocritical double standard.
Lift every voice
As we previously reported, last week Alicia Keys performed the Black national anthem on the opening night of the NFL season as the league announced that it was teaming up with the singer to establish a $1B initiative aimed at helping Black businesses and communities.
Her performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” included imagery of the protests that have resulted since the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
Keys explained to Billboard why she decided to partner with the NFL, noting that “blatant injustices” were evident for all to see.
“As an artist, I’m always thinking about how can I use my platform to further racial equity,” the 15-time Grammy winner said. “This fund is one of the answers and our goal is to empower Black America through investing in Black businesses, Black investors, institutions, entrepreneurs, schools, and banks in a way to create sustainable solutions.”
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