NFL Responds to Colin Kaepernick as Protest Politics Continue to Surface on Campaign Trail
Polling on NFL players peacefully protesting police brutality and inequality in the justice system shows a huge racial and partisan divide and is expected to fuel the culture war perpetuated by the president. Polling shows a majority of Democrats and Black voters say it’s appropriate for players to kneel, and a majority of Republicans and white voters saying it is inappropriate. Overall public opinion is in line with the president’s views, with polls showing more Americans supporting the NFL’s on-hold policy than opposing it. The issue continues to surface on the campaign trail. It was a factor in the recent political upset in Massachusetts where progressive candidate Ayanna Pressley, who supports the players, claimed victory. The issue is also a factor in the close contest between Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX). With Nike naming Colin Kaepernick the new face of their "Just Do It" campaign, shaming the NFL in the process, the league was forced to craft a response. “The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity. We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities,” said Jocelyn Moore, the NFL’s Black EVP of Communications and Public Affairs. “The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action.” Most of the owners, who contributed more than $7.75 million to the Donald Trump campaign, fear the president’s wrath according to leaked audio recordings. Trump has raised the issue frequently, often distracting from whatever current White House scandals are in the headlines. The newly released Nike commercial will officially hit the airwaves tonight during football fall debut. See it here.