The controversial ex-quarterback Colin Kaepernick accepted an award from the ACLU Sunday for his advocacy, including starting the trend of protesting during the national anthem. A protest which continues to divide fans and drain stadiums.
The former 30-year-old San Francisco 49ers star made a surprise appearance at the ACLU of Southern California’s annual Bill of Rights Dinner to accept the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award. Kaepernick told those in attendance:
“We all have an obligation no matter the risk, and regardless of reward, to stand up for our fellow men and women who are being oppressed with the understanding that human rights cannot be compromised.”
The ACLU’s executive directorHector Villagra told a crowd, including Hollywood’s Jane Fonda, Viola Davis and Judd Apatow that Kaepernick:
“Took a stand knowing he would risk his job. He has lost his job, one that he loved and was supremely talented and skilled at.”
It all started during the 2016 preseason when Kaepernick began his kneeling demonstrations during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” to raise awareness for social issues like racial inequality and police brutality. Kaepernick still has not signed with any team this year as a free agent.
Protests from other players on other teams have drawn criticism from President Trump who has called the act disrespectful. Recently, President Trump tweeted:
At least 24 players kneeling this weekend at NFL stadiums that are now having a very hard time filling up. The American public is fed up with the disrespect the NFL is paying to our Country, our Flag and our National Anthem. Weak and out of control!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2017
Trump has branded the NFL as “weak” for not making it a requirement that players should stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” adding the player protests have contributed to lower attendance and fewer TV viewers this season.
Last week, the NFL told NBC News that infact attendance is down, but only by 1-percent from last year. However, television ratings had taken a dip and when watching the games, many empty seats can be seen.
The Baltimore Ravens have sold out every home game since their inception in 1996, but recently had to advertise tickets for Sunday’s game. Thousands of fans have tried to resell their tickets to the game against the Detroit Lions, with seats available in just about every section. The Baltimore Sun reported a fan could score an $80 ticket for an upper end zone seat for just $29.
In a memo obtained by the Associated Press last week, the NFL said it was committing $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a three-segment plan that involves league players. Read more on the social justice settlement here.
— ACLU SoCal (@ACLU_SoCal) December 4, 2017