Angered by the NFL’s alleged blackballing of star quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a group of fans have launched a petition threatening to boycott the league if he isn’t signed to a team this season.
The Change.org petition, fittingly titled #NoKaepernickNoNFL, has received over 68,000 signatures as of Monday, Aug. 7, and is less than 8,000 signatures shy of its 75,000 goal.
It’s been nearly five months since Kaepernick became a free agent in early March. However, team owners have been reluctant to sign him in the wake of a controversial protest calling attention to police brutality against people of color in America. Since then, the former San Francisco 49er has been passed up for lesser-skilled quarterbacks and has only drawn the slightest attention from two NFL teams: the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens.
“We understand [the] NFL is very important to you — we also understand the purpose of Colin Kaepernick’s protest is FAR more important than any games you’ll ever watch,” the petition, started by news platform Unstripped Voice, states. “Simply put, if things stay the same for the way America – where ‘all men are created equal’ – treats people of color, then your loved ones, friends, and children will eventually be affected as well.”
The document then encourages signees to boycott the league by refusing to watch any games, refrain from posting social media comments before/during/after the games and stop going to the stadiums. Fans are also discouraged from buying their favorite team’s merchandise until Kaepernick is signed.
“This situation really shines a light on how much the NFL really cares about its Black athletes,” petitioners wrote. “It’s pretty much: ‘Play for us, entertain us, make us money, and shut up.’ “
Several fans took to social media to express their support for the proposed boycott.
— Justice League NYC (@NYjusticeleague) August 4, 2017
100% will boycott if CK not signed. What is happening to him is disgraceful and reflects deep-seated racism in the NFL. #Nokaepernicknonfl
— Courage Under Fire (@anthemprotest) August 3, 2017
A league of owners who profit from the exploitation of Black athletes yet unwilling to fight for their social justice #NoKaepernickNoNFL
— Dirty-el (@Steady__Ready) August 4, 2017
— Crystal (@CrystalEyes8719) August 6, 2017
The petition will be sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and every team owner in the league once it reaches 100,000 signatures.