The NAACP published a letter it sent to the NFL on Wednesday in which the organization requested a meeting to discuss “what many in our community are viewing as a league-wide set of retaliatory actions against Colin Kaepernick for exercising his First Amendment rights.”
The call for a meeting comes the same day that a rally was planned by film director Spike Lee, who says Kaepernick is being blackballed for his national anthem protest from the 2016 season.
In the NAACP’s letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the organization’s interim President and CEO Derrick Johnson says:
“Last season, Mr. Kaepernick chose to exercise his first amendment right by protesting the inequitable treatment of people of color in America. By quietly taking a knee during the national anthem, he was able to shine a light on the many injustices faced by people of color, particularly the issue of police misconduct toward communities of color. As outlined in your office’s public statement, this act of dissent is well within the National Football League’s stated bylaws. Yet, as the NFL season quickly approaches, Mr. Kaepernick has spent an unprecedented amount of time as a free agent, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that this is no sheer coincidence. No player should be victimized and discriminated against because of his exercise of free speech – to do so is in violation of his rights under the Constitution and the NFL’s own regulations.”
Wednesday’s rally for Kaepernick outside of the NFL’s headquarters comes a few months after one was organized by Kevin Livingston, founder of the 100 Suits organization that Kaepernick donated to. Kaepernick made a donation to the organization in May, and announced Tuesday that he had again provided help to the New York-based organization.
Spike Lee made the announcement for Wednesday’s rally on Aug. 8 via Twitter:
August 8, 2017
The NAACP’s letter to the NFL can be read in full here.