Colin Kaepernick protested racism in America in 2016 by taking drastic measures: refusing to stand for the National Anthem before each game. Instead, he kneeled, a gesture many patriots felt was completely disrespectful to the game. In response, the NFL plans to enact regulations i starting next fall that force players to choose between remaining in the locker room or standing. But many players aren’t happy; they’re threatening to interfere with the season by refusing to play.
• Colin Kaepernick, who was the first to take a knee, and Eric Reid, who first stepped up to kneel with him, have yet to be signed for the fall. Activists like Sean King claim this is retaliation for kneeling.
• Both Kaepernick and Reid filed grievances against the league, accusing teams of conspiring to keep them out for their political views. Documents sourced from the case show that both were well-respected and high-value players outside of the kneeing event.
• Several other star players, including Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long, are now calling for a boycott on the coming season. They’re asking up to 25 percent of all NFL players to sit out with them, a move that would instantly interrupt the season and potentially grind it to a halt.
• Jenkins has been particularly vocal about the new guidelines, accusing the league of interfering with players’ “constitutional rights to express themselves.” He also believes they have the right to use their “platform to draw attention to social injustices like racial inequality” throughout the country.
• The new NFL guidelines give teams the right to fine or punish any player or member of team personnel for kneeling during the anthem. Jenkins responded by explaining that he disagrees with the decision, but will not “let it silence [him] or stop [him] from fighting.”
• NFL representatives haven’t responded to the call for a boycott, nor are they agreeing to relax the rules or give players other options at this time.