NFL: Don't Silence Your Players

NFL: Don't Silence Your Players

The NFL just announced that they will fine players who kneel during the national anthem, effectively punishing anyone who expresses their opinion through peaceful protest.

The players involved with the #TakeAKnee movement, who are mostly Black, are protesting police killings of Black men and women. They've put their livelihoods on the line for doing so – Colin Kaepernick, who was once a star quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, now can't find a team to hire him.

When the NFL set this policy, it sent a message to the country – and to players – on its values. Yet deeming what’s "disrespectful" is highly subjective. President Trump, for example, called the Charlottesville KKK marchers "very fine people," while calling Black NFL players "sons of bitches" for kneeling during the anthem.

For Trump and the mainly white and wealthy NFL owners who oppose #TakeAKnee, kneeling during the national anthem shows disrespect. But respect and love for America doesn't require blindness to America's failure to honor its promise of racial justice and equality – failures that are made even more evident each time the police murder a person of color and get away with it.

We need to act now to tell the NFL to stop silencing its players. Sign this petition telling the NFL to respect its players' voices and rescind this new policy immediately.

To the National Football League:

Your new policy barring players from kneeling on the field goes against the free speech values of this country – and that's disrespecting the flag. Respect your players' voices and rescind this policy now.