NAACP Requests A Meeting With NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell To Discuss League's Discrimination Against Colin Kaepernick

Roger Goodell, Colin Kaepernick

NAACP Requests A Meeting With NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell To Discuss League's Discrimination Against Colin Kaepernick

"No player should be victimized and discriminated against because of his exercise of free speech."

Published August 23, 2017

It's quite clear that Colin Kaepernick isn't getting another NFL quarterback gig because of his season-long protest, last year, against racism and police brutality against unarmed Black men.

And now the NAACP wants to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to get answers.

In a letter sent to Goodell yesterday, the organization's interim president and CEO Derrick Johnson requested a meeting with Goodell to discuss what many people in the community deem as a "league-wide set of retaliatory actions" against Kaepernick for "exercising his First Amendment rights."

"Last season, Mr. Kaepernick chose to exercise his First Amendment rights by protesting the inequitable treatment of people of color in America," Johnson writes to Goodell in the letter. "By quietly taking a knee during the national anthem, he was able to shine a light on the many injustices, particularly, the disproportionate occurrences of police misconduct toward communities of color." 

Kaepernick exercising his First Amendment rights is well within the NFL's bylaws, so the fact that he protested shouldn't be held against him by the league nor its owners.

"As outlined in your office's public statement, this act of dissent is well within the National Football League's stated bylaws," Johnson continues later in the letter. "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."

The NAACP's New York state president, Hazel Dukes, added, on the organization's website, "This issue of athletes using their right to free speech to take a stand on issues has always been an important one in our community. Right now, the action of the league seems to imply to young black men that this league, which is comprised of 70 percent African Americans, only values Black lives if they are wearing a football uniform."

Talk to 'em! Between this letter and the "United We Stand" rally for Kaepernick being held outside of NFL headquarters in New York City today, Goodell is definitely being pressed to come up with answers as to why the former QB remains jobless when he had better stats last season than several quarterbacks who are still active in the league today. 

Well, Mr. Goodell?

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Written by Mark Lelinwalla

(Photo from left: Elsa/Getty Images, Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

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