Former NFL quarterback turned activist Colin Kaepernick is not satisfied with the NFL’s social justice messaging.
The tweet: Kaepernick tweeted on Sunday that the league’s acknowledgement of racial injustice is “propaganda.”
“While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid for fighting for the Black community,” Kaepernick said, referring to his former San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid, who is currently a free agent.
- While with the 49ers, Reid joined Kaepernick in taking a knee during the national anthem at games during the 2016 season to protest police brutality and racism.
- Both Reid and Kaepernick have claimed the NFL blackballed them over their political activism.
Reid has not been signed by a team since he was released in March by the Carolina Panthers, and Kaepernick has yet to play a down in the NFL since he opted out of his 49ers contract in 2017.
A 180 on social justice: The NFL was initially resistant to Kaepernick’s on-field activism, going as far as to issue a ban on kneeling during the anthem in 2018.
- However, the league changed course as racial justice sentiment swept the nation following the May 25 death of George Floyd.
- In August, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell apologized to Kaepernick, saying he wished “we had listened earlier” to what the ex-quarterback had been protesting.
- The league has since amplified its social justice initiatives, including antiracist messages on helmet decals and in end zone borders.
Nielsen ratings from the NFL’s season opener on Thursday between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans showed viewership fell by 16.1% compared to last year in the key 18-49 demographic, nearly a nine-year-low, Deadline reported.