Hi Bobby –
I don’t know if President Trump is going to watch the NFL kickoff game tonight, but I know he’ll be paying attention to what players do during the national anthem. He’s turned #TakeAKnee protests into a full-fledged culture war, claiming it’s a “winning issue” for him on the campaign trail.
Last May, the NFL cowed to political pressure and announced a policy banning players from kneeling during the national anthem. The public backlash that ensued – including our petition, which already has over 30,000 signatures – forced the NFL to put the proposed policy on hold.
Our pressure is working, Bobby. Add your name to the petition demanding the NFL respect its players’ right to protest. If enough of us speak up this season, we can get the NFL to shut down this proposed policy once and for all.
Trump has twisted this peaceful, player-led protest of police killings into an issue of so-called patriotism. But respect and love of America requires scrutiny. That includes acknowledging this country’s failure to honor its promise of racial justice and equality – failures that are made even more evident each time the police murder another person of color and get away with it.
We can’t let the volume of Trump’s tweets drown out the voices of players – the majority of whom are people of color – protesting issues that affect them personally. Kneeling during the national anthem doesn’t disrespect our flag. Dishonoring free speech is what disrespects our flag.
Sign the petition telling the NFL not to ban #TakeAKnee protests. This isn’t about the flag and it’s not about the troops. It’s about racial justice and police brutality – issues that are matters of life and death for millions of Americans.
Even if you’re not watching the kickoff game tonight, you should make your voice heard in this important cultural moment. We all have a stake in #TakeAKnee.
Thanks for raising your voice,
ACLU Deputy Legal Director, fighting for racial justice