By Najee Ali
The 32 National Football League owners, none of them African-American, continue to be some of the most racist and conservative owners in American sports. At least seven of them donated $1 million or more to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee.
Other NFL owners also made donations.
That’s why the signing of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to an endorsement deal by Nike as the face of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It “campaign, was one of the most courageous acts by a major corporation in my lifetime. Nike, a billion-dollar global corporation, essentially thumbed its nose at the NFL and threw down the gauntlet in support of Kaepernick.
This infuriated some people who have purchased Nike products and are now calling for a Nike boycott. We have seen some Nike shoe owners taking to social media to burn their shoes. One idiot burned his shoes while still wearing them and was rushed to hospital with severe burns.
Burning your Nike gear must be one of the dumbest acts of protest in history. Nike doesn’t care about you burning their products you have already paid for.
Now that you dislike Nike so much for standing against police brutality why not donate your Nike products to homeless veterans you pretend to care so much about.
Nike didn’t get to be a billion-dollar corporation by not thinking wisely. They realize their market is for millennials. They made a business decision. But we should all support Nike with our dollars.
When the NFL or any corporation punishes a man for standing against police brutality then that means the league and that corporation is a supporter of police brutality. So, we can’t give our money to any business that doesn’t support black and brown lives and our issues.
Instead, we must have the mindset that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. When you have a billion-dollar white-owned corporation risking its brand to support black athletes and our issues, we must support them.
I bought my Nike gear this week and will now buy stock also. The bottom line is Kaepernick sacrificed his career for us and Nike stood by him and paid him. So let the racists and African-American coons who are angry at Nike continue burning their shoes. We have Nike to thank for that.
The fight for justice and our support of Kaepernick continues. It was a year ago, I called for a boycott of the NFL and led protests outside every Los Angeles Rams home game in response to Kaepernick being blackballed by the NFL owners. A year later nothing has changed.
The facts are Kaepernick took a stand for black women, children and men who were and still are being killed unjustly by police nationwide and for all people of color. Courage isn’t for everyone.
This is about police brutality and the NFL blackballing a man because he kneeled to bring attention to the police murders of people of color. Kaepernick lost millions and sacrificed his career so people of color could live without the threat of state-sanctioned murder.
That’s why we should commend and support Nike for standing with and supporting Kaepernick and being a good corporate citizen. But the reality is this isn’t about Kaepernick. This is about the unjust police murders of black people, racial profiling, police abuse and the violation of our civil rights that Kaepernick put into the national spotlight.
We must continue the NFL protests in Los Angeles and call for a boycott of the NFL not only over their refusal to sign Kaepernick and his former San Francisco teammate Eric Reid, but also the silencing of NFL players on the injustices and police killings committed against people of color. That’s what this is about. That’s what it has always been about.
Kaepernick exposed the lies and hypocrisy of Americans who believe in free speech but only for white men and black people who prove that many of us are woke only in our opinions but not in our actions.
That’s why it’s time to draw a line in the sand. Do you love the NFL and its racist owners? Or do you love black people more? Kaepernick proved he loves his people. And he is still being blackballed by the NFL.
Nia Wilson, Anthony A.J. Weber, Fred Taft, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Tyisha Miller, Ezell Ford, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and countless other brother sand sisters have been killed unjustly and won’t watch a game or anything else ever. So, I’m still with Kaepernick. And not just in words, but in action.
So once again, my call is for another protest of NFL racism and in support of Kaepernick.
The protest will be at the L. A. Rams and Arizona Cardinals game Sept. 16 outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The protest time is 11 a.m.
If you don’t want to support us, leave us alone and sit on the sidelines. We got this and will, in the words of Nike, “Just Do It!”
For news tips, email Brothernajeeali@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter@Najeeali.