Issues under Fire: #BlackoutNFL, Well Somebody Had to Do It
Although the NFL’s 2017 season kickoff went almost unnoticed due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many people of color intentionally missed the games for an entirely different reason. Blacks and Browns across the nation have decided to take a stand with Colin Kaepernick in his non-violent protest against the overly aggressive policing of Black men without any consequences of any significance.
Refusing to stand for a nation they feel won’t stand for them, this uniting issue will test the league’s resolve when the stadiums’ crowds are thinning at the gates, while NFL merchandise shelves remain full of unsold jerseys, caps and tee-shirts. If you’re unaware how and why this boycott got started, read on and join up.
Several weeks ago, a group of Black pastors posted a video on YouTube, making the point that Colin Kaepernick was being blackballed by NFL owners in order to avoid a backlash from White fans. Going viral within hours, people of color and Whites who “Get It”, agreed.
It was a powerful message delivered by proud, committed, Black men of faith and reason. And reason is important here, because there was nothing unreasonable about the case they were making. As we learned in Charlottesville, Va. this summer, race relations in America remain strained to say the least. So to watch a Black man be blacklisted for bringing attention to an issue that’s plagued Black people since their arrival on slave ships, cried out for a response. And respond they did.
Asking people of faith and members of the Black and Brown community to join #BlackoutNFL to send a strong message to the NFL, as well as America, that Black Lives Matter. And that call to action resonated deep within the consciousness, as hundreds rallied outside NFL Headquarters in New York, to peacefully show their support for Colin Kaepernick and their disdain for the league’s owners and leadership.
With ratings steadily sliding for the last few years, this season’s numbers will undoubtedly continue to sink. Advertisers need viewers, bars need customers and what’s a Super Bowl without a party? No matter how you cut it, the NFL is going to feel the loss of those who decided to change the channel, rake the leaves or just spend more time with their families.
Bottom line: We could be witnessing an historic moment. We could be witnessing a learning and teaching opportunity for those too young to remember how bad it used to be. After witnessing Colin Kaepernick and Charlottesville, Va., we could be witnessing a resurgence of Black pride and unity. Both are sorely needed right now. Podcast below.