Al Sharpton’s National Action Network helped lead a protest Friday outside the New York headquarters of the National Football League. The demonstration comes in response to the league’s new rules aimed at ending player protests during the playing of the national anthem.
Over a dozen demonstrators appeared outside the midtown Manhattan HQ of the football league, led by members of the National Action Network (NAN), a civil rights organization, The Hill reported.
Some of the small group worse jerseys featuring the name and number of former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick, the NFL player who invented the anthem protest at the start of the 2016 football season.
— Rachel Noerdlinger (@rachelnoerd) May 25, 2018
NAN Northeast Regional Director Kirsten John Foy slammed the NFL team owners and President Donald Trump for supposedly quashing the player’s right to protest.
“Our demand is that the NFL reverse that immoral and unconstitutional decision,” Foy exclaimed.
Foy’s group was joined by the NAACP, the Women’s March, and the Justice League of New York City.
Women’s march leader Tamika Mallory insisted that she was no longer interested in trying to get the NFL’s ear, she proposed stronger actions.
“I’m not here to talk to the NFL. They have already drawn a line in the sand, and they have doubled-down on us. The question is, what are we prepared to do?” Mallory yelled angrily. “What are we prepared to do? The NFL is complicit in the oppression of black and brown people in this moment. They are complicit.”
Mallory went on to throw the “slavery card” by insisting that players are treated like slaves in the NFL.
“They own these young men in their minds,” Mallory accused of the NFL. “The slave owners have said that if the slaves get out of line, we will show them. … The question is: What will the rest of us do about them putting the slaves in line?
“This is not about the flag, this is not about an anthem … this is about the loss of life, the brutality of black and brown young women.”
The claim that the anthem protests are not about attacking the country run contrary to the proclamations made by Colin Kaepernick himself when early in his history of protests he said he could never stand to honor the country and said that the U.S.A. was never great.
The newest round of protests against the NFL comes on the heels of the league’s decision this week to fine teams for allowing players to take a knee during the national anthem. The new rule announced on May 23 maintains that players can stay in the locker room if they are not interested in standing for the anthem but that if they do take to the sidelines, they must stand during the song.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.