Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has received praise and threats for his posture during the national anthem last season, but a local organization is standing up for the quarterback who kneeled for his beliefs.
Led by the organization 100 Suits for 100 Men, Kaepernick’s supporters held a solidarity protest outside of the NFL headquarters on Park Ave. Wednesday to show their support for the tarnished signal-caller.
“When you’re about change, things are going to stand up and stand against you,” said Kevin Livingston, president of 100 Suits for 100 Men. “I’m more encouraged than ever. This is just the first step. I’d rather have a strong 20 than a weak 100, and I’m very happy for the turnout. I’m very glad the community came out.”
Among the speakers were former NBA player Etan Thomas, state Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens), Emerald Garner — daughter of Eric Garner — and William Bell, father of Sean Bell. Both Eric Garner and Sean Bell were killed by police officers in 2014 and 2006, respectively.
Although it was reported that Kaepernick, 29, worked out for the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday, that didn’t change how people felt about the perceived blackballing by the NFL.
“To blacklist someone who’s taken a stance for something that’s very important, it’s shameful,” said law enforcement official Edwin Raymond. “If Seattle signs him, that’d be great. He shouldn’t even be going through this in the first place.”
The NFL did not respond to a request for comment.