NFL PROTEST/BOYCOTT - LIST OF DEMANDS
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In August of the 2016, during the National Football League (the “NFL”) pre-season, Colin Kaepernick decided to use his platform as a public figure to call attention to the issues of racial injustice and police brutality against unarmed black and brown citizens in America, and the failure of our judicial system to indict and/or convict these killer cops for murder. Colin Kapernick furthered his peaceful protest on the field with action, donating $1 MILLION of his own funds towards community-based charities that support racial justice, and creating a free youth program to raise awareness on higher education, self-empowerment, and proper interactions with law enforcement. In a world without racism, Kaepernick would be recognized as a civil rights hero and patriot. Instead, he remains one of the most maligned figures in the history of sports, and unemployed because of his peaceful First Amendment protest (despite being arguably the most talented quarterback available in the NFL free-agent market).
Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of players in the NFL are African American (over 70%), the NFL has NEVER denounced police brutality committed against unarmed black/brown citizens. Instead, the NFL has consistently avoided the issue of the protest by perpetuating a false narrative...that the NFL protest is somehow 'about the flag'. Commissioner Goodell's October 2017 memo to NFL teams didn't even make a single reference to racial injustice or police brutality, but merely focused on "the current dispute over the National Anthem". While the NFL claims that it wants to 'open a dialog' with the players to discuss the protest, Kaepernick (the globally recognized originator of the entire NFL protest) was not even invited to the recently held NFL players/owners meeting in New York. The truth is that the NFL does not care about the issue of racial injustice/police brutality against black/brown people, which affects the vast majority of its workforce. This is egregious and unacceptable. As NFL fans, patriots, and consumers, we will not tolerate such benign neglect from an institution that is fueled almost entirely by an African American workforce.
In solidarity with the protest started by Colin Kaepernick, WE THE PEOPLE have implemented a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against the NFL, which includes but is not limited to NFL games, NFL cable/internet broadcasts, and NFL merchandise. We THE PEOPLE are committed to continuing this BDS movement until the following demands are met:
I. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF REASON(S) FOR PROTEST
We demand that the NFL issues a statement acknowledging that Colin Kaepernick's protest has ALWAYS been about bringing awareness to the social injustice issue of POLICE BRUTALITY against unarmed black/brown citizens, and that it was NEVER about disrespecting the national anthem nor the flag. In fact, Kaepernick modified his protest (from 'sitting' to 'taking a knee') in order to be MORE respectful of those in the military who serve our country.
We demand that the NFL acknowledges and condemns police brutality as a form of domestic terrorism that disproportionately affects black and brown people in the US.
We demand that the NFL, in conjunction with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), launches a employment discrimination investigation into crimes of a conspiracy to retaliate against Colin Kapernick (i.e. ‘black-balling’ of Colin Kapernick by NFL owners) for lawfully using his status as a player in the NFL and hence, a public figure, to peaceful protest police brutality. The narrative has been that he is “not good enough” to make an NFL roster, and that his unemployment has nothing to do with his protest. If evidence of employment discrimination is determined, NFL ownership should be held accountable.
II. NFL POLICY CHANGES
We demand that NFL works with the NFLPA to update the player policies to clarify that the owner’s employment decisions do not supercede its players constitutional First Amendment rights as US citizens.
We demand that the NFL creates a Diversity and Inclusion initiative focusing on pathways for black and minority ownership of NFL franchises, i.e., a Rooney Rule for NFL franchise ownership. Currently, out of all 32 teams in the NFL, 99% of these teams are owned (or majority-owned) by white males and there is not a single majority owner of any NFL team that is of African-American descent.
We demand that the NFL creates annual public service announcements (PSAs) and media campaigns that promote racial justice and awareness of issues facing black/brown communities, and that those campaigns be produced by African-American owned production companies.
III. CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS & COMMUNITY OUTREACH
We demand that the NFL provides a SUBSTANTIAL financial contribution to Colin Kaepernick’s NOW YOUR RIGHTS CAMP, which is a free campaign for youth to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and instructions to properly interact with law enforcement (http://kaepernick7.com/know-your-rights-camp
We demand that the NFL matches EVERY DONATION that Colin Kaepernick has made to charitable organizations.
We demand that the NFL annually contributes a percentage of revenues towards charitable organizations that focus on racial justice and/or police brutality issues.
We demand that the NFL makes a 10 year commitment to support low-income public schools that are located within a 50-mile radius of any NFL stadium.
We demand that the NFL makes a SUBSTANTIAL financial contribution to American families who have lost a family member due to police malfeasance, and disclose to the public how those funds are allocated on an annual basis.
IV. POLICE DEPARTMENT AND UNION PRESSURE
We demand that the NFL uses its power and influence to help change the culture of RACISM and RACIAL BIAS embedded in police departments around the country by:
- Terminating NFL ‘gameday security’ contracts with any police departments that have demonstrated history of racial bias, brutality, and/or murder of unarmed black/brown civilians
- Refusing to hire current police officers for NFL gameday security from any police departments that have a demonstrated history of racial bias, brutality, and/or murder of unarmed black/brown civilians
- Refusing to hire any former officers and/or police chiefs with a demonstrated history of racial bias, brutality, and/or murder of unarmed black/brown civilians into permanent security or administrative positions within the NFL.
- Providing “gameday security” hiring preference to police officers who live in the communities they serve
- Providing “gameday security” hiring preference to police officers who have obtained 4-year college degrees.
- Working with local police departments to impose harsher punishments for fans attending NFL games who participate in openly racist/bigoted behavior and/or acts against black/brown players and/or other black/brown patrons, e.g., life-time ban from NFL games, racist fan “watch-list”, etc.
We demand that the NFL uses its power and influence to lobby police departments and the police unions to impose new regulations stating that police officers who are under investigation for the shooting and/or murder of unarmed citizens CANNOT receive PAID LEAVE.
V. STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PRESSURE
We demand that the NFL uses its power and influence to lobby State and Federal government(s) to MODIFY existing laws and/or CREATE new laws that impose significantly harsher penalties for police officers who shoot and/or murder unarmed citizens. Police officers should be held to a “higher standard” than civilians, not a lesser one. They are paid to protect and serve the community, not murder its citizens with impunity.
*This list was created by a collective of activists, artists, scientists/engineers, attorneys, strategists, educators, innovators, deep thinkers, and people who are UNITED against police brutality and racial injustice
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