Civil rights activists protest outside league office on Friday

AP

Two days after the NFL changed its controversial anthem policy to require any player inclined to protest to retreat to the locker room, a group called the National Action Network gathered outside 345 Park Avenue to criticize the NFL’s decision.

Via the Associated Press, roughly 50 people showed up for the rally. Roughly 10 people spoke out against the new rule.

“Our demand is that the NFL reverse that immoral and unconstitutional decision,” Kirtsen John Foy, the first of the speakers, said.

“I’m proud because I’m going to be on the right side of history,” New York city councilman Jumaane Williams (pictured in the #ImWithKap T-shirt) said. “I’m going to be standing and kneeling with Colin Kaepernick.”

The groups plans to hold other demonstrations in Detroit and Los Angeles.

Some will surely scoff because the numbers weren’t in the hundreds or thousands, but consider this. For all the huffing and puffing from those who strenuously object to the protests, how many rallies or gatherings did they conduct? How many who swore they were done with football actually deprived themselves of something they enjoy, and how many were simply hoping to force a change to the anthem policy with “I’ll turn this car around right now”-style threats?

Regardless, the truth is that there are NFL fans on both sides of the issue. For reasons still not known or apparent, the NFL has opted only to hear the voices of those who protest the protesting. The NFL’s secret research project regarding Kaepernick’s unemployment revealed that opinions were split, but the NFL ultimately decided to bow to the demographic that is opposed to the protests.

The NFL also has opted to inflate the views of less than half of the total fan base into a throng of customers who cannot be ignored. Consider this recent quote from Steelers owner Art Rooney II: “The bottom line is that with this new policy we have attempted to strike a balance between respecting the right of a player not to be forced to stand for the anthem, while acknowledging that the vast majority of our fans who attend or watch our games, particularly those in the military and veteran communities, do not want to come to a game to see a political protest.”

That’s simply not a statement based in fact. A minority of fans have chosen to exercise their right to make their displeasure with the protests known. Another minority of fans have chosen to exercise their right to make their support of the protests known. The NFL has chosen to listen to only one of those groups.

In so doing, the NFL has persuaded some in the media to blindly parrot the “bad for business” mantra when it comes to the protests. Apart from the fact that, as Falcons owner Arthur Blank recently acknowledged, league and club revenues are up, there’s still no specific, reliable, quantitative proof that the protests are “bad for business.” It’s just as likely that the clumsy, awkward manner in which the NFL has handled the issue is “bad for business.”

But the NFL isn’t pushing the angle that it’s “bad for business” to stifle the protests, because the NFL continues to choose not to heed the opinions or complaints from those who believe that peaceful protest can be respectful to the military, an appropriate tactic for bringing attention to legitimate public grievances, and ultimately an exercise of one of the many freedoms that Americans have fought and died for from the day the founding fathers decided to no longer bow to the heavy-handed rule of the King of England.

48 responses to “Civil rights activists protest outside league office on Friday

  1. Our poor educational system. The product is low of thought and major on low hanging fruit tactics and thinking.

  2. Well so much for hoping I could just watch football this season without this stuff coming up. Probably got my hopes considering the day and age we are in but still

  3. Complaining about millionaires not being able to kneel, on the clock, does nothing.

    Stop whining and go make a difference.

  4. “I’m going to be standing and kneeling with Colin Kaepernick.”

    What section and row will ou guys be sitting in? Or will you just be protesting near a stadium..? Kneeling at a HS Football game? I’m curious.

  5. Simple. Take back the $100M promised over 7 years for social justice causes and use it for security around the building.

    Now you’ll get nothing. Well played.

  6. What these people don’t understand is that the NFL is completely within its right to do this. The players are kneeling in uniform. A uniform that represents one of 32 organizations under the greater orginization of the league. Their actions in that uniform reflect on those orginizations. The NFL is a buisness, and they recognized that players kneeling during the anthem was costing them money. (And it was costing them money, whether you choose to accept that or not.) So, they made a move to at least try to fix it.

    No one is stopping them from doing anything about it on their own time, out of uniform. Besides, kneeling is only telling people they feel there’s a problem. How many of these players have actually done something about it? Only a handful of all of the players who knelt actually have done something.

    Stop kneeling and start actually doing something.

  7. I’m sorry, I’m all for rights and freedoms and ability to peacefully protest, but I think owners and the league HAVE the right to say, “Some of our paying customers are troubled by your protest during the national anthem (even if they are misinterpreting the intent/message) Regardless of your intent/message, it’s not good for my business and it’s my business. Do your protesting on your own time or work somewhere else.”

  8. The league has alienated 2 segments of the population against the league: the fans that are upset with the players and the fans that are upset with the league policy. That gives a lot of people a reason to watch less football or none at all. (and also gives more people less reason to buy fake autographed merchandise)

  9. “Our demand is that the NFL reverse that immoral and unconstitutional decision,” Kirtsen John Foy, the first of the speakers, said.
    ================================================================

    “A employee may have a constitutional right to talk politics, but he has no constitutional right to be employed.”

    -Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
    Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

  10. Most people are at the point of, “who cares?” This works for a season or two and then, just like any other gimmick, it gets old.

    Kaepernick and his girlfriend will find something else to do.

  11. I’ll spell this out for everyone. The league didn’t do this to stop people from kneeling. They did it to make money off it. They know damn well people won’t stop doing it but why not make something from it? It’s called smart business strategy. So keep kneeling and the league gets slightly richer.

  12. demetriusjames says:
    May 26, 2018 at 1:17 pm
    End the playing of the Anthem…no need to stand or kneel or whatever. Will that satisfy everyone?

    ———-

    Why should they end playing the anthem? How about the teams each decide whether or not they will allow protesting and end the employment of any players that break their rules? I’m sure some other guys will be willing to fill the vacancies for NFL salaries.

  13. At this point what is even the point of the anthem protesting? You could argue that at first, it was to increase awareness of the issue, but that’s not been a factor for a while now. All it’s doing at this point is increasing polarization.

    It’s doing nothing to help set up a system where officers who use force inappropriately are getting punished (regardless of the race of the victim). It’s also doing nothing to help set up a system where if an officer is cleared, we can reasonably think it’s because his use of force was justifiable, regardless of the initial ruling of the Court of Public Opinion.

    If someone thinks the unwarranted death of a Person of Color is a good thing, they’re either crazy and/or racist, but this is actually a distraction from finding a solution.

  14. nhpats says:
    May 26, 2018 at 1:32 pm
    demetriusjames says:
    May 26, 2018 at 1:17 pm
    End the playing of the Anthem…no need to stand or kneel or whatever. Will that satisfy everyone?

    ———-

    Why should they end playing the anthem? How about the teams each decide whether or not they will allow protesting and end the employment of any players that break their rules? I’m sure some other guys will be willing to fill the vacancies for NFL salaries.

    ———-

    Ah, but the teams never got that opportunity! By the way…my statement was made in hyperbole, mostly.

  15. demetriusjames says:
    May 26, 2018 at 1:17 pm
    End the playing of the Anthem…no need to stand or kneel or whatever. Will that satisfy everyone?
    ————————————————

    That is the real end game for the left. Guess what would happen if the NFL tries that?………If you guessed the crowd would stand up and sing it anyway at the top of their lungs, you would be correct.

  16. Liberalsruineverything says:
    May 26, 2018 at 1:46 pm
    demetriusjames says:
    May 26, 2018 at 1:17 pm
    End the playing of the Anthem…no need to stand or kneel or whatever. Will that satisfy everyone?
    ————————————————

    That is the real end game for the left. Guess what would happen if the NFL tries that?………If you guessed the crowd would stand up and sing it anyway at the top of their lungs, you would be correct.

    ————————————————

    You may be correct but it wouldn’t matter one bit to a fan of sports, such as myself. I don’t go to or watch games to feel patriotic. I carry that in my own heart, the way most Americans should. The playing of the anthem; the respect of that (or lack, thereof), does nothing for me. If the NFL (along with the NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR or any sport I love) stops playing the anthem, I’ll still love my country and watch said sport.

  17. Nam vet here, No problem with social protest, I don;t worship the flag either. My problem is that a group disrespects as many people as possible while demanding respect for themselves and thier unproven agenda.

  18. boffo97 says:
    May 26, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    If someone thinks the unwarranted death of a Person of Color is a good thing, they’re either crazy and/or racist, but this is actually a distraction from finding a solution.

    ———-

    Look, not to minimize the number of minorities wrongfully killed by police each year….but it is a really small number. Especially in comparison to the number of blacks killed every day by other blacks in this country. Hundreds….each day! So if these players are really concerned about blacks being killed, why are they not protesting and “bringing awareness” to the larger crime?

  19. How about the NFL stops taking tax payer money to play the anthem…..

    It’s sooooo freaking patriotic of the NFL and Fans, to only stand for the anthem when tax payers are paying for it. Maybe, just maybe the NFL and DOD should go thier separate ways

  20. MANY football fans played football growing up, and grew up loving the game of football.

    HOWEVER, the NFL has grown into something other than football.

    The NFL is not a sport. FOOTBALL is a sport.

    If you want to kill off the NFL, keep politicizing it. It will eventually die.

    Meanwhile, hopefully, these other new football ventures will have succeeded in delivering well played football to the fans.

  21. The real solution is fine each player than kneels 10,000 per game and give that money to the very causes, which they never mentioned. They can put their knee’s and wallets where their mouths are. Vets will be happy they are helping the disenfranchised and get some good laughs watching the cash register go ca ching.

  22. =====
    Look, not to minimize the number of minorities wrongfully killed by police each year….but it is a really small number. Especially in comparison to the number of blacks killed every day by other blacks in this country. Hundreds….each day! So if these players are really concerned about blacks being killed, why are they not protesting and “bringing awareness” to the larger crime?
    =====

    I would agree totally with that.

    But since their focus is just on the number killed unjustly by police (which is small, but even 1 is too much), I was pointing out that the current strategy is actually counterproductive for them unless their real objective is offending people into arguing with them so they can then point and yell “Racist!” while accomplishing nothing.

  23. We keep hearing that they protest off the field and on their own time. Here are protesters off the field, on their own time, and there are still people complaining. I guess the real message is, don’t protest if you’re opinion is contrary to mine.

  24. Why are people so against this? Is it because they wish to look like ingrates, and wish to alienate a fan base?
    If you wish not to stand, stay in the locker room. What is so wrong with this?

  25. Yea, they make millions so they forfeit their rights to have an opinion or performa silent protest. The owners are supported by the league. Just like with the concussion issue, they only care about the bottom line, period. The players probably will have to quit taking a knee because the NFL audience is generally to stupid to figure out what taking the knee really means.

  26. So stupid these people. U are kneeling which whether or not u intend it to be disrespect is causing a distraction from ur “message”. Stand lock arms or do something else which will remove disrespecring the flag out of the equation and back to ur message.

  27. LMAO — the reason the people opposed to anthem kneeling weren’t staging protests is because those people have better things to do than to assemble at an office building in New York and make silly signs.

    As far as how many stopped watching? Millions, demonstrably. The pro-kneelers may have the mainstream media on their side and 50 people who have nothing better to do than paint signs, but ultimately the success or failure of this anthem rule will be decided by the actual NFL customers, not people who never watched football anyway who have no power to make a dent in the NFL’s revenue because they weren’t providing said revenue before anyway.

  28. All these players who hate the anthem are selfish ignorant fools only looking for camera time screaming “look at me “. The anthem represents equality for everyone and the end of slavery. If you want to protest the small fraction of police brutality then protest in front of the police station that employs said police officers and work together, get every rich millionaire in the nfl to open businesses in poor communities, speak against black on black crime, drug use, drug dealing, domestic violence. Get off your knees and do something to help minorities get a job ,go to college, and learn to respect one another, treat people the way you want to be treated. All these selfish ignorant players don’t care about solving problems or helping anyone get a job and away from drugs and gangs. These “look at me” players only care about being seen kneeling on TV while doing absolutely nothing to help the minorities and doing absolutely nothing to help stop police violence, or protest in front of the police stations. Kneeling for the anthem was supposed to bring awareness. Ok, everyone has been aware for years now. It’s time to stop being lazy selfish “look at me” cowards on their knees, and get out there and do something to create jobs, help kids get off drugs and gangs, help black kids stop killing each other and start working with police to stop the police killings and black on black violence. Taking a knee during the anthem is disrespectful, helps solve nothing, and only shows how lazy ,selfish and ignorant these players are. They have no idea how lucky they’re to be living in the usa. People from Palestine, Syria and other countries in the middle east are getting persecuted and killed for nothing. They would love to have a chance at having freedom in the usa. They would show major respect to the flag and anthem if they were able to move here. Goes to show how these coddled diva players take their freedom for granted. Spend one week in Palestine and these rich players will never disrespect the usa flag and anthem ever again.

  29. s that Americans have fought and died for from the day the founding fathers decided to no longer bow to the heavy-handed rule of the King of England

    ——————-

    Oh sweet Jesus, stop already

  30. fwippel says:
    May 26, 2018 at 5:24 pm
    Wow, ten people showed up for this protest? The league must be terrified!

    ————

    Sure…..but at least they are doing this on their own time. I have zero problem with these people.

  31. “I’m going to be standing and kneeling with Colin Kaepernick.”
    ———-
    How very Hank Jonshonesque of you Jumaane(sic).

  32. I gave up watching. I am insulted by their behavior, but have no interest in protesting it. Why would I have a rally when every decent person in the country agrees with me? It’s like holding a protest against Charles
    Manson

  33. Why is one sector of this country given all the hypes for these demonstrations. You never see any of these individuals carrying their cards on yelling a mega phone their agenda do anything but talk. It is old and lost any respect that these individuals feel it deserves.

  34. I have had 2 very close friends in my immediate circle cut out football the past year and have actually enjoyed their time away from it… I am not there yet..


  35. scutz1972 says:
    May 26, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    I’m sorry, I’m all for rights and freedoms and ability to peacefully protest, but I think
    owners and the league HAVE the right to say, “Some of our paying customers are
    troubled by your protest during the national anthem (even if they are misinterpreting
    the intent/message) Regardless of your intent/message, it’s not good for my business
    and it’s my business. Do your protesting on your own time or work somewhere else.”

    So, to be clear, you are all for giving up your rights and freedoms and pursuit of
    justice and equal treatment under the law, so businesses are able to maximize
    their profits. Even a business that not only supported the players right
    to protest, but in many cases joined them in spirt, action and owners
    themselves protesting along side players on the field.

    Is this what you are telling the world?

    Or are you saying, you are all for taking away other people’s rights
    in cases where you find their peaceful protests to be irritating?

    Are these the guiding principles by which we send troops into harms way,
    and which the vast majority of good cops work so hard to defend ?

    You will be judged to be on the wrong side of history, but I wonder
    if you will have the backbone to come out and admit it, and repent when it does.

    Rights and Freedoms are what America is based upon, not profits and
    angry fans who still can’t wrap their heads around what the protests
    are really all about. Good day to you.

  36. Go ahead and protest outside the league office, and while your at it tell all of the players that want to protest to follow your fine example and protest outside the police precincts where you believe that there is injustice. That is how it should be done.

    However, stop talking about unconstitutional until you have actually read the constitution, because if you had, you would see that it is not unconstitutional for the NFL to tell players that they must stand. The 1st amendment says that the government, most specifically congress, can’t impede your freedom of speech. It doesn’t say that a free business can’t. It couldn’t because then it would be infringing on the 1st amendment rights of the business owner(s).

    They are compromising with the players though alot of people refuse to look at it correctly. By saying that those players that don’t want to stand can remain in the locker room, they are saying we won’t force you to stand. In fact, you can kneel all you want in the locker room, just not in front of our fans.

    Asking the players, why should they? Players like Malcom Jenkins who said they would stop protesting after the NFL put that money towards charity are complaining and threatening to protest again? How much for their word there? By the way, Jenkins was protesting by holding his fist up, which by the way the NFL did nothing to condemn, try to stop, or even mention.

    So if they players are determined to protest, try that following that example. I really don’t see much being accomplished by the players except trying to “fight the power”. During the off season, how much have we heard about them trying to help the social injustice that they are complaining about? This is their perfect platform, go out and be heard, the media is dying for something to write about. Use it to your advantage.

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