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Fritz Pollard Alliance issues statement of support for protesting players

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers kneels in protest during the national anthem prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s still been less than a month since 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand for the national anthem was first noticed. The story continues to linger and grow, with more and more players joining in the demonstrations, which primarily arise from concerns raised by Kaepernick about police misconduct against African-Americans and people of color.

On Sunday, the Fritz Pollard Alliance issued a statement supporting the players who choose not to stand at attention for the anthem.

“While Americans of all races and from all walks of life have expressed different opinions on the athletes’ chosen form of protest, nobody who believes in the foundational ideals of our democracy can question their right to protest,” Chairman John Wooten and Executive Director Harry Carson said in a statement. “We support their right to protest, and if we were still playing today, we would be joining them.”

Wooten and Carson point out that the effort has been successful, to date.

“Colin Kaepernick has forced a national conversation, and good is coming from it — whether it’s the 49ers Foundation contributing $1 million to improve relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve, or the Green Bay Packers donating several hundred thousand dollars to community organizations,” Wooten and Carson said. “More than the monetary impact, though, minds are opening, views are being exchanged, and perspectives are changing.”

Wooten and Carson note that Kaepernick changed his own position, opting to kneel rather than to sit after having a conversation with former Green Beret Nate Boyer. Likewise, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall spent time with Denver Chief of Police Robert White to discus police and community relations.

“Conversations such as the one between Kaepernick and Boyer and the one between Marshall and White — people from different backgrounds with different strongly held beliefs — are what make America great,” Wooten and Carson said. “And sometimes it takes protest that some find uncomfortable to spark those conversations. This is freedom. This is democracy. It is at the core of the nation we love.”

The demonstrations during the anthem are expected to continue this week. They could grow even more, given that last Sunday’s games coincided with the 15th anniversary of 9/11, prompting some to choose to refrain from siting or kneeling on that day.

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22 Responses to “Fritz Pollard Alliance issues statement of support for protesting players”
  1. jasons81 says: Sep 18, 2016 9:02 AM

    I maybe wrong but I’ve always thought the first time Kaepernick sat it was because he was pouting about being stuck in SanFran and being the #2 guy. I think the whole oppression thing was a convenient excuse once it got noticed, rather than sound like a malcontent.

  2. delhommed says: Sep 18, 2016 9:10 AM

    No protesting while on the clock, in uniform, in front of paying customers. I’m done with the NFL if it continues on the playing field.

  3. patriottony says: Sep 18, 2016 9:16 AM

    I’ll tell you what you worthless uneducated spoiled FOOTBALL players and managers…ANY of you SOB’s want to protest that flag? COME WITH ME!!! I served as an escort on flight (C17) of american soldiers who died in combat. That cargo hold held 12 American hereos in silver caskets..draped with that “HATEFUL” SYMBOL… I sat there for 11 hrs thinking about the sacrifice and loss,,,what it took for these men and women who died for their country….and here we are just like the 60’s Slackers,,who never did thing in their lives for this country,,using the FLAG as a protest. TELL YOU WHAT,,,come to DOVER AFB and watch..follow the procession to Arlington and watch the ceremony, the grief and loss,,as the Flag is presented to his family “as a Token of a grateful nation for your loved ones sacrifice” YOU WORHLESS SOB’S

  4. mongo3401 says: Sep 18, 2016 9:16 AM


  5. ace8842 says: Sep 18, 2016 9:45 AM

    It has not been a success. It has turned fans against each other, it has dropped the NFL ratings and they will continue to drop. 18 out of 1,700 people in the NFL kneeling is not a success. The conversation is tired and is replayed on CNN and MSNBC 24/7.

  6. JSpicoli says: Sep 18, 2016 10:04 AM

    This will not end well for the NFL.

  7. duffelbagsports says: Sep 18, 2016 10:13 AM

    It has not been a success? That should be judged by the people of color who are celebrating athletes FINALLY speaking out and not by others trying to hide inequality under the cloak of patriotism.

  8. diminishingskills says: Sep 18, 2016 10:19 AM

    This is ludicrous on any number of fronts. Kaepernick isn’t being asked to salute rogue cops, or even cops generally. He’s being asked to show respect not just to the flag but to a non-partisan custom. Instead he offers a blanket indictment of America itself and vows to hold his compliance hostage to his personal assessment of complicated social issues. That’s not in a quarterback’s job description any more than it is in a plumber’s.

  9. fmckenney says: Sep 18, 2016 10:38 AM

    I support all kinds of demonstrations…that’s what makes this country great. I don’t agree with the premise of these demonstrations but that’s neither here nor there. What I would like to see is Black leadership address the dissolution of community in the innercity neighborhoods. I’m pretty sure every Black in America sees the problem as well as everyone else, and it’s going to take an incredibly strong leadership group to acknowledge the various issues and begin solving them. That’s why so many are disgusted with the demonstrations…clean up your own house and stop pointing your fingers at everyone else.

  10. ufanforreal says: Sep 18, 2016 10:46 AM

    I don’t recall any press showing him walking the south side of CHI. at 2:00, 3:00 am.

  11. charger383 says: Sep 18, 2016 11:04 AM

    My family picked 1PM today to pick up trash for Adopt A Highway instead of watching NFL

  12. liverpoolred04 says: Sep 18, 2016 11:19 AM

    You couldn’t possibly make me care any less…oh btw an officer died yesterday because he was shot, by a black guy…so, there’s that.

  13. Toni says: Sep 18, 2016 11:20 AM

    If only you all were just as infuriated when you see young children murdered by racist adults with guns American could possibly have a chance at being “great” again.
    Educate yourself. Read the entire lyrics of the “Anthem”, talk to the parents of slain children as much as you do veterans and maybe you will get off of your pedestals and open your eyes. If this country doesn’t unify, we’ll all doomed, not just the NFL.

  14. bigblackfist says: Sep 18, 2016 11:22 AM

    This is a long post. In short I’m saying this. If your just going to share your feelings without providing a positive solution for what the protest is about, you are apart of the problem. There is a problem. That’s a fact, not a feeling. As a matter of fact there’s a lot of problems! So let’s talk about solutions when we stating feelings or personal opinions. Otherwise your the problem. The rest of this post is for those that don’t mind reading.

    So to all that feel that Kap had did this at “the wrong time”, “not at work” or “not during a patriotic event or ritual, celebration, etc”, then WHEN was he supposed to? Or because he has a platform now, and one that corporate America can’t take away from now(to hell with the endorsements), he’s supposed to just make his money and NOT say nothing about “fictional” social injustice as most of you would want to call it seems.

    Let me explain something to you. First clear your head to what I’m about to say. If you can’t do that, you can’t converse, which would mean your the problem. Straight up!

    Now, listen…do you know of….let’s say a comedian named Richard Pryor? If not go youtube him for an hour and then let’s have a conversation. Now those that have, you might know where I’m going with this. Richard’s comedy was from A-Z. The one of many that sticks out is how he would be able to tell a joke that has social injustice involved.

    He could divide white people from themselves. He had the ability to tell a joke to have white people looking at themselves and submit to judge themselves of personal wrong doings of prejudging or racial actions and decide to have a positive and or negative impact on society moving forward. (If that was to off base or point for you, go back and read again).

    It’s interesting to see how Colin has that same type of impact as Mr. Pryor has with white people. You have some that want to have have a conversation and most that don’t. NOT one of you that don’t back up Colin fully, have added a positive solution to OUR problem as a country, to your feelings in your comments.

    If you think social injustice is, basically fiction, again, you are the problem. There are many NON-blacks who support the fight against you world wide. So if it’s a numerous amounts of cultures supporting each other about “fictional” social injustice, that makes people world wide really crazy and bigger than all religions worldwide.

    Do you respect Muhammed Ali? Some did and most didn’t in your group of folks that will thumb this comment down(and not because of grammar and spelling). Listen to what I’m saying…when you see protest on tv, and it’s Black Lives Matter group, ON TV, they show ALL nationalities in the STREETS, not just black people! When you see a trump rally you see 95% white people. Just like most of these thumb downs.

    When will you submit a solution with your comment when you see something you don’t like. And not something ignorant like “go back to your own county”, well you go back to your country. You weren’t here first. So since we all staying, let’s provide solutions.

    If your just going to complain about the protest without providing a positive solution, you are apart of the problem. You seem afraid that more with $$$ are speaking louder than a bomb. But don’t worry because there’s SOME of us with $$$ who will remain a slave for you and not talk, kneel, sit, fist in the air, etc…about social injustice. You can keep them. We’ll take all those white folks that want true peace and love with all people, not JUST other white people or non-whites who assimilate to “white acceptance” to confirm in its own society. Yes, we will take the white population that loves all and not look down on all. The type that I’d enjoy a beer at the bar with the guys watching the game. The type that will speak up when they see what WE see. The type that would be in the streets in a BLM march. The ones that would want to have gone to see a Muhammed Ali fight and support him after after not wanting to go to WAR! The ones that would have gone to a Richard Pryor concert and not feel out of place.

    Let’s find a way for us all, or you can remain part of the problem with that certain group of people.

  15. winged warrior says: Sep 18, 2016 11:25 AM

    an irrelevant organization ( trying to make itself relevant ) backing an irrelevant player who doesn’t want to leave the bright lights . > Fritz Pollard Alliance
    PS – cappie fearing he would be cut and knowing that chipper had already been accused of being a racist pulled this stunt knowing he would never be cut or traded this season .
    and by the way…that tee shirt he wore with fidel castro’s face on it was all the symbolism you needed to see .
    in this court of public opinion , i rest my case .

  16. jdphx says: Sep 18, 2016 11:25 AM

    Some of these players have lost sponsors…

    But what happens when the NFL loses a sponsor.
    Just one? I think we all know what happens then…

  17. Ferdinand says: Sep 18, 2016 1:24 PM

    I can’t be the only one — What is the Fritz Pollard Alliance and why should we care what they think?

  18. rcali says: Sep 18, 2016 1:39 PM

    I haven’t abandoned the NFL all together just yet. I did not buy the NFL ticket this year because of all of this protest Krap during a sporting event. The NFL just about lost me when they did nothing when their employees celebrated the Black Panther Party.

  19. mackcarrington says: Sep 18, 2016 2:05 PM

    Some of you people need to stop acting like you care about black on black crime. The truth is, you just don’t want to hear black people voice complaints about ANYTHING. You believe everything is equal, the playing field is level, and because there are some blacks who have achieved success, all the other blacks should just shut up. it makes you uncomfortable when blacks speak up and speak out.

  20. scrap7681 says: Sep 18, 2016 3:06 PM

    Mackcarrington, what people are asking is if black lives matter soo much than why are they gunning each other down? Why aren’t BLM protesting the 500+ people killed in Chicago. Why since the beginning of 2016 is their an average of 1 person getting shot every 2 hours in Chicago? Why are cops being ambushed by BLM supporters if they are a peaceful organization? I’m 100% against a cop killing an innocent bystander. But these people who’ve been killed have resisted, have had weapons on them, ect. The cop is usually scared for his/her life while trying to protect other innocent lives. On the other hand, in da hood it’s OK to kill your brothers & sisters over dissing someone, or it’s OK b/c he made money on my turf, or he looked at my baby momma wrong, or he’s wearing the wrong color!!!! I guess people are confused, I know I am, seems to me no life matters in these places.

  21. mackcarrington says: Sep 18, 2016 3:17 PM

    You don’t care about what goes on in the “hood”.
    Stop it. You only point to that as a deflection of what these people are really protesting about. And no one…absolutely no black person thinks “it’s OK” to kill each other. This is what I’m talking about. All of a sudden people like you are so “concerned” and “outraged” at what’s going on in the black community? No. You only pipe up because blacks are speaking about something that makes you uncomfortable.

  22. fmckenney says: Sep 18, 2016 5:28 PM

    For all of you who apparently know the motivations of everyone who disagrees with the premise of these demonstrations…let me be clear, you don’t, not with me nor anyone else. Would you want me to define what you believe and why? Most of these rants are racially tinged and ageist. For someone to suggest that most of us didn’t respect Muhammad Ali, which I might add had nothing to do with this particular demonstration, is racist in its suggestion. Today, what percent of blacks in the intercity work with police to address the gangs and high crime?

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