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#ISitWithColin: Speak out – Sit with Colin Kaepernick

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Petition to Colin Kaepernick:

"Thank you, Colin Kaepernick, for making a bold rebuke of police violence against Black people and people of color."

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    #ISitWithColin: Speak out – Sit with Colin Kaepernick

    Since San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick first began refusing to stand during the national anthem to protest police violence, support for his action has been growing – but so has an ugly backlash.

    Kaepernick’s NFL rival Jeremy Lane joined Kaepernick in his protest, and other athletes are speaking out in support.1 Kaepernick himself chose to kneel at another recent game, with another 49ers player alongside him and a former Green Beret and NFL long-snapper standing next to him.2 U.S. Women’s National Team soccer star Megan Rapinoe also took a knee to show support.3 Kaepernick, whose jersey has become the best-selling one in the NFL, has pledged to donate $1 million to community organizations.4 President Obama said that Kaepernick is exercising his constitutional right and is concerned about important issues.

    At the same time, an ugly backlash has declared Kaepernick unpatriotic, with one NFL executive labeling him “a traitor.”5 There is pressure on other athletes not to speak out. The manager of the U.S. national hockey team promised to bench any player who sat through the anthem.6 At this pivotal moment, our friends at Color Of Change are organizing Americans to declare “I sit with Colin Kaepernick,” and it is our responsibility to speak up, as well.

    #ISitWithColin: Speak out today in support of Colin Kaepernick. Sign the petition.

    Shaming people for how they protest is nothing more than a way to silence dissent without addressing real concerns. As our friends at Color Of Change remind us, Kaepernick is in good company:

    Kaepernick joins a long history of Black athletes using their platforms to advance racial and gender justice issues – like Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the Black Power salute during the national anthem at the 1968 Olympics, Jackie Robinson writing that he could not salute the flag as “a Black man in a white world,” the women of the WNBA wearing black in protest of police brutality, or LeBron James leading the Miami Heat to pose in an evocative photo, all wearing hoodies to express grief and outrage at the murder of Trayvon Martin.7

    Across America, African-Americans and people of color are subject to the profiling, criminalization, and extraction of wealth detailed in the Department of Justice’s report on Ferguson police.8 Systemic racism has put our criminal justice system in a state of emergency. At a time like this, speaking out as Kaepernick did is not just a brave choice, but a matter of moral responsibility.

    #ISitWithColin: Speak out today in support of Colin Kaepernick. Sign the petition.

    CREDO members have supported Black Lives Matter organizers on the ground and spoken up in the past to demand accountability for protesters and bold action from President Obama. We believe there is nothing more patriotic than speaking up against injustice in pursuit of a greater and more perfect union. As Michael Eric Dyson recently wrote:

    "The patriot is the person who, spotting the need for change, says so clearly and loudly, without hate or rancor. The nationalist is the person who spurns such correction and would rather take refuge in bigotry than fight it... In the end, Trump is a nationalist, and Kaepernick is a patriot.”9

    If you agree, please take a moment to add your name now.

    #ISitWithColin: Speak out today in support of Colin Kaepernick. Sign the petition.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    1. Ahiza Garcia, “Colin Kaepernick's jersey is top seller after protest,” CNN Money, September 6, 2016.
    2. Nick Wagoner, “From a seat to a knee: How Colin Kaepernick and Nate Boyer are trying to effect change,” ESPN, September 6, 2016.
    3. Dave Zirin, “This Is What Solidarity Looks Like: Why Soccer-Star Megan Rapinoe Stands With Colin Kaepernick,” The Nation, September 6, 2016.
    4. Garcia, “Colin Kaepernick's jersey is top seller after protest.”
    5. Shaun King, “Dear White America, which form of protest do you actually prefer?” NY Daily News, September 2, 2016.
    6. Chris Peters, “USA coach John Tortorella says he'd bench player for sitting during anthem,” CBS Sports, September 6, 2016.
    7. Color Of Change, “Will you sit with Colin Kaepernick?” Email, September 1, 2016.
    8. Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery, "The 12 key highlights from the DOJ's scathing Ferguson report," The Washington Post, March 4, 2015.
    9. Michael Eric Dyson, “The Courage of Colin Kaepernick,” The Undefeated, September 6, 2016.