A black "#IMWITHKAP" T-shirt laid sprawled out over a podium on the corner of East 51 Street and Park Avenue, outside of NFL headquarters, in New York City on Wednesday evening.
With hundreds of people posted up in proud attendance for the "United We Stand" rally for Colin Kaepernick, rapper and activist Mysonne took the podium and began to deliver some timely woke bars.
"So, if Kaepernick took a knee on national TV to highlight the injustice that happened to us and we don't stand with him, that's like watching what happened to Rosa Parks and getting back on the back of the bus," he said. "So, I ask, When is enough enough? What is the final straw? What's the one thing we're all for sure gonna ride for? I'm not sure if you saw what happened in Charlottesville, but Trump and his followers are trying to have us back in them cotton fields. So, if you feel like I feel and you ready to stand, let me see everybody raise up their hand."
Just then, a sea of fists rose among the crowd, which included rap legend Kurtis Blow and Hollywood actor Susan Sarandon. Chants for Kaepernick erupted, while others called for a boycott of the NFL.
"Before I go, I want to leave you with something," he continued, "the easiest way for evil to prosper is for good people to do nothing. Stay woke."
In many ways it was fitting that Mysonne evoked the terror of white supremacists in Charlottesville because, as disturbing as its events were, they didn't seem to enrage any NFL owners to make a passionate statement... kind of like the cold silence they have given Kaepernick in the aftermath of his 2016 season-long protest, in which he knelt during the national anthem in a stance against racism and the police brutality of unarmed Black men.
Earlier this month, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman ran through a list of NFL quarterbacks who are inferior statistically to Kaepernick, yet the 29-year-old QB remains a jobless free-agent whom owners won't touch. It's painfully obvious that NFL owners are holding his protest against him.
And tonight's rally implored the NFL to force owners' hands to change that unemployment status of Kaep immediately, while also calling on the league to install an iron-clad bylaw, which would protect all players from speaking up about socially conscious and political issues without any sort of backlash.
But the rally, which had many attendees rocking Kaep jerseys and T-shirts, was bigger than the man himself.
"The fact that he's currently jobless. We're kind of on the backside of this whole Charlottesville incident. I don't know how to label it more than it was egregious and the fact that we're sitting here... it's not just about getting the man a job. It's about answering a call to racism," former NFL offensive guard and Super Bowl champion Willie Colon told BET.com. "We share one planet, we share one country. We have to stand together."
Kaepernick himself didn't attend the rally, which was organized by the "United We Stand" coalition of community organizations. His advocacy, which includes putting his money where his mouth is to the communities and organizations that need it most, has been recognized. So, part of this rally was to fight on his behalf and thank him for his continuous efforts.
"Colin Kaepernick... I don't want him to have to wait for 30 years to know we celebrated him," local NYC Council member Jumaane Williams said. "We waited 20, 30 years to tell us we can celebrate Muhammad Ali. We're celebrating Colin Kaepernick right now, today! I stand with Kap!"
The rally for Kaepernick outside NFL headquarters tonight came a day after the NAACP issued a letter to the league's commissioner, Roger Goodell, requesting a meeting to get an explanation as to why there seems to be a "league-wide set of retaliatory actions" that have been sanctioned against Kaepernick for taking the woke stance he did last year.
Between this rally and the letter, will Goodell care to respond?
While we patiently wait, here are more of the sights and sounds from tonight's rally and how people came out to rep for Kaepernick.
Well, Mr. Goodell? You see it. The pressure is mounting.
(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)