The National Football League may believe it has bought peace in our time by aligning with rap mogul Jay-Z and his Roc Nation for various social justice initiatives and entertainment.
But the shadow of Colin Kaepernick still looms over the league, and some players are listening to his siren calls for continued protests.
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Responding to Jay-Z’s comments last week that the league has “moved past kneeling,” Kaepernick today urged his supporters via an Instagram post to “stay strong” and “continue to fight.”
The comments were addressed to Carolina Panther Eric Reid, and Miami Dolphins Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson II, all of whom have raised objections to business as usual by the league. All three continue to kneel during the national anthem, a movement started by Kaepernick when he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers. After leaving the team for free agency, he has never played again, and won a settlement with the league for his alleged blackballing.
Kaepernick said on Instagram, “My Brothers @E_Reid35 @KSTiLLS @iThinkIsee12 continue to fight for the people, even in the face of death threats,” Kaepernick wrote. “They have never moved past the people and continue to put their beliefs into action. Stay strong Brothers!!!”
Jay-Z’s attempt to move past protests was criticized by Kaepernick’s girlfriend and television host Nessa Diab and sports journalist Jemele Hill, as well as many former fans on social media.