“No Kaepernick, No NFL!”

September 12, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a Reader:

“No Kaepernick, No NFL!” “Kap took a knee, he was fighting for me!” A small, upbeat group of people gathered on Sunday morning, September 10, in Chicago to march to the Bears’ stadium, Soldier Field, to Stand for Colin. People from Black Lives Matter, SOUL, and other groups were joined by people who had come on their own—Black people in Kaepernick jerseys and Kaepernick shirts, students (some at their first protest), a community group wearing Action Now blue shirts—young, middle-aged, Black and white, many carrying homemade signs. We set out together and marched, chanting, past hundreds of people streaming towards the stadium to go to the game. By the time we reached Soldier Field the march had grown to 200.

In front of the stadium people formed a circle and held a rally. The moderator, a young woman from SOUL, emphasized that diverse people from different groups had come together to take this stand, stressed the importance of unity, and urged respect for all the speakers. More than one person said that Kaepernick had started a movement. A man who had been agitating during the march called out the NFL as ‘N’s Fall in Line’ and spoke of the modern-day slaves inside the stadium performing for the pleasure and profit of rich white men like gladiators in the Roman Coliseum. Someone read the incredibly detailed official diversity statement of the NFL, saying, “This is why Colin thought his right to take a knee was protected.” The NFL statement claims to uphold and support racial and gender equality and to promote the full personal development of the players. In contrast, one of the marchers carried a sign reading “NFL hypocrisy: Rape, murder, cheat, steal—that’s OK but Kap can’t kneel.”

A couple of times, football fans we passed hollered out, “He’s not signed because he’s not good enough for the NFL!” No racism here. One of the speakers took that on and ran down what Kap had achieved in taking his team to the Super Bowl just a few years ago. What seemed to resonate most with the gathered people were speakers who pointed out that Kaepernick cared more about justice than his career, that he refused to stand for the national anthem because of police murder of Black people, which the people gathered in Chicago were very much aware of; “16 shots and a cover-up!”

Maya from the Revolution Club was applauded several times, including when she said that revolution is needed, as she told how the club had chanted “1, 2, 3, 4, Slavery, Genocide, and War, 5, 6, 7, 8, America was NEVER great!” then burned the American flag in front of the 2016 Republican Convention in Cleveland that nominated Donald Trump, for which 16 were arrested and now face charges for this legally protected act. Maya then invited people to the RNC 16 event at the Revolution Club organizing center that afternoon.

Most everyone at the event got the RNC 16 flyer and the Refuse Fascism flyer, “The Nightmare Must End,” for November 4. One young couple said they had already gotten it at the DACA protest and were glad that it’s getting out everywhere. One question raised was what does “drive out” the Trump/Pence fascist regime mean. People really seemed to feel that this is a moment when people are acting and what we do can make a difference. Several people signed up to volunteer with Refuse Fascism—two freshmen from DePaul who took flyers to hand out on the march kept the flyers and said they would organize on campus. “I’m just getting involved and this seems like a good thing,” one said. A young man who had just come back to the U.S. from England said he needed to get involved. His friends had told him about Revolution newspaper. A Black man who said he hadn’t been active since Chicago 1968 got a copy of the paper.




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