Ex-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (No. 7) has remained unsigned since the 2016 season, when he began protesting inequality and racist police brutality by refusing to stand during the national anthem
The hashtag #ImWithKap will be trending throughout Super Bowl Sunday as part of a social media awareness campaign to raise money for free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.
Comedian Nick Cannon, rapper Common, film director Ava Duvernay and many other celebrities posted Tweets with the hashtag, pledging to donate $7 to the youth camp while challenging seven others to do the same.
Some, like DuVernay, went further, saying they would boycott Super Bowl LIII entirely to protest the league’s treatment of Kaeperenick, who has remained unsigned since the 2016 season, when he began protesting inequality and racist police brutality by refusing to stand during the national anthem.
According to its website, the Know Your Rights Camp is ‘a free campaign for youth founded by Colin Kaepernick to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and instruction to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios.’ The organization plans events with children and teenagers across the country
Kevin Durant (left) and LeBron James both wore the No 7 limited edition jerseys
Several NBA players have also weighed in recently. LeBron James and Kevin Durant both offered their support for Colin Kaepernick by wearing his limited edition #ImWithKap jerseys on Saturday, as did Chamillionaire, who was seen wearing his courtside at the Lakers-Warriors game in Oakland
Some, like director Ava DuVernay and actress Jodie Turner-Smith, went so far as to say they would boycott Super Bowl LIII entirely to protest the league’s treatment of Kaeperenick
‘I will not be a spectator, viewer or supporter of the #SuperBowl today in protest of the @NFL’s racist treatment of @Kaepernick7 and its ongoing disregard for the health + well-being of all its players,’ DuVernay tweeted. ‘To watch the game is to compromise my beliefs. It’s not worth it. #ImWithKap.’
Actress Jodie Turner-Smith responded with, ‘SAME. #ImWithKap.’
According to its website, the Know Your Rights Camp is ‘a free campaign for youth founded by Colin Kaepernick to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and instruction to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios.’
The organization plans events with children and teenagers across the country.
Several NBA players have also weighed in recently. LeBron James and Kevin Durant both offered their support for Colin Kaepernick by wearing his limited edition #ImWithKap jerseys on Saturday, as did Chamillionaire, who was seen wearing his courtside at the Lakers-Warriors game in Oakland.
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown arrived at Sunday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with the same jersey as well.
Kaepernick became one of the faces of the modern civil rights movement in 2016 when he began the protests as a reaction to a series of killings of African-American men, many of whom were killed by police.
Other players followed, sitting, taking a knee, or raising a fist during the anthem over the objections of many fans, owners, and, beginning during the 2017 season, President Donald Trump.
Also in 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the league, accusing all 32 owners of colluding against him in retaliation for the demonstrations.
The NFL reportedly used a Washington consulting firm to ask Americans if controversial free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick should be signed by one of the league’s 32 teams.
According to Yahoo Sports, the 2017 poll was conducted by The Glove Park Group, which was co-founded by former NFL communications chief Joe Lockhart.
Kaepernick was the only player singled out by the poll, which also included general questions about fans’ responses to domestic violence, gambling, player protests and player safety, according to Yahoo Sports.
The results were reportedly dispersed to several high-ranking league officials, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Neither the Grover Park Group nor the NFL responded immediately to the Daily Mail’s requests for comment.
Specifically, the research was aimed at ascertaining whether Americans believed Kaepernick should be in the NFL, and whether or not Americans felt that he was being blackballed for his refusal to stand for the national anthem.
The polling also attempted to illustrate fan opinions on the potential punishment for players who knelt in protest during the anthem.
The data was reportedly split among several demographics, including race, political affiliation, and age. According to Yahoo, results were split along racial, political, and generational lines, with whites and Republicans heavily favouring disciplinary action against protesting players.
The polling data was compiled in the summer of 2017, before Goodell sent a memo to teams in October of that year stating that the ‘current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game.’
‘Like many of our fans,’ read the memo, ‘we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem.’
The NFL did not institute any rule requiring players to stand for the anthem during the 2017 season, which resulted in further criticism from President Donald Trump.
In May, the NFL and Goodell changed course and announced a new policy: Players would no longer be required to be on the field during the anthem – a rule that began in 2009 – but anyone on the field of play would be required to stand. Teams could be fined for any personnel not standing, and they would have the right to fine players individually.
However, the league changed course in July and decided to negotiate a resolution with the players association. No final decision has been announced.
In speaking to reporters ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl in Atlanta, Goodell suggested that teams made the decision to pass on Kaepernick individually, dismissing the notion of any collusion.
Kaepernick has continued appearing in Nike ads, highlighting his political stance. However, An apparel company’s commercial that appears to be directly criticizing Nike’s Kaepernick campaign was allegedly rejected by CBS for its Super Bowl Sunday broadcast.
Nine Line Apparel said that CBS said that they were not certain the clothing brand could pay for the 45-second spot according to the Washington Examiner, while the company charged that CBS rejected it based on the ad’s content.
‘CBS’s purported reason for rejecting a Super Bowl commercial that extols patriotism is totally out of bounds,’ said CEO of Nine Line Apparel Tyler Merritt. ‘Let’s call this what it is: a blatant attempt to censor a message that their politically correct executives find offensive.’
The cost for a 30-second Super Bowl commercial is approximately $5 million this year, according to Business Insider.
In speaking to reporters ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl in Atlanta, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suggested that teams made the decision to pass on free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick individually, dismissing the notion of any collusion against the controversial star
‘If a team decides Colin Kaepernick or any other player can help their team win … that’s what they’ll do,’ Goodell said.
‘Our clubs are the ones that make decisions about players they want to have on their roster,’ Goodell continued. ‘They make it individually. They all want to win. They are going to do whatever they need to do to win. That’s our focus. It will continue to be our focus.’
In a recent poll conducted by The Athletic, 81 of 85 players said they believe the Kaepernick should be in the NFL. Two players voted ‘no’ and another two replied ‘no comment.’
The question of whether or not he is good enough to play in the NFL has remained a topic of conversation around the league for the last two seasons.
While three players replied that Kaepernick should be a backup, many others believed he could start over such first-string quarterbacks as Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles (20 percent) and Oakland Raiders signal caller Nathan Peterman (18 percent).
Bortles finished the season with a 79.8 quarterback rating while Peterman’s 30.7 mark would have been the NFL’s worst if he had enough games to qualify for the league’s leader board.
‘S***, any team that carries three quarterbacks for sure, the third guy on that roster,’ an anonymous player told The Athletic, explain whom Kaepernick should replace. ‘And a majority of the teams with two quarterbacks, he should be the backup. And some places he should be the starter.’
Not only did Colin Kaepernick lead the 49ers to three consecutive NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl, but his career 88.9 quarterback rating is superior to the marks of several quarterbacks who started over the course of the 2018 season
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles should be benched in favor of Colin Kaepernick, according to 20 percent of the NFL players polled by The Athletic
In November, Pro Football Talk reported that Kaepernick still wants to play in the NFL and continues to work out 30 hours a week.
Not only did Kaepernick lead the 49ers to three consecutive NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl, but his career 88.9 quarterback rating is superior to the marks of several quarterbacks who started over the course of the 2018 season.
Over his six-year NFL career, Kaepernick completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 12,271 yards, 72 touchdowns and just 30 interceptions. He also ran for 2,300 yards and 13 touchdowns, gaining 6.1 yards per carry.
Previously both Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said they feel as though Kaepernick is good enough to be playing in the NFL, and Rogers went so far as to tell ESPN that he believes the former University of Nevada star remains a free agent because of the protests.