Super Bowl Aired MLK Footage, And Some Kaepernick Supporters Aren’t Having It
BLACK VOICES 02/03/2019 07:59 pm ET Super Bowl 2019 Aired MLK Footage, And Some Colin Kaepernick Supporters Aren’t Having It The NFL honored civil rights heroes, while Kaepernick has remained unsigned after protesting racial injustice. By Rebecca Shapiro Michael Zagaris via Getty Images Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games. Super Bowl 2019 kicked off with controversy Sunday night, when the NFL used footage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Many viewers called out the league for celebrating civil rights heroes while Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned after protesting racial injustice.
Ahead of the official coin toss, CBS aired a montage of photos and videos featuring King while snippets of the preacher’s most famous speeches played in the background. After the package aired, King’s youngest child, Bernice King, along with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and activist Andrew Young, joined team captains on the field for the official coin toss. King was given the honor of tossing the coin.
A significant moment. My mission is #JusticeForAll . Humanity is turning the tide and our efforts must include bridge builders, strategic negotiators and ambassadors. #SuperBowl #Atlanta #BuildTheWill #MLK90 pic.twitter.com/TrLfsmzlfX
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) February 3, 2019 Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games in 2016 as a way to protest racial injustice and police brutality. Since then, tensions have been high between players who support him and the league, which has actively tried to prevent players from taking a stand.
Last year, the NFL approved a policy requiring players to stand for the national anthem if they are present on the field. It put the policy “on hold” following widespread backlash.
Twitter users were quick to point out the hypocrisy of the league honoring civil rights heroes during the Super Bowl while Kaepernick remains unemployed by the NFL. The former quarterback filed a lawsuit accusing the NFL of working to keep him out of the league.
The NFL really did that MLK ad like we forgot about Colin Kaepernick.
— Janan (@jananamirah) February 3, 2019 Oh the absolute fucking disrespect of the NFL using a voiceover of MLK Jr. and trotting out his daughter and John Lewis while blackballing Kaepernick. Come on. What the hell was that?
— Zito (@_Zeets) February 3, 2019 I am dumbfounded. Dumbfounded. MLK’s voice and words and images, in an NFL ad. The fucking audacity just kills me.
— Jeff Pearlman (@jeffpearlman) February 3, 2019 How you gonna have an MLK callout for a league which has blackballed a player for protesting police oppression?
— Craig Newman (@craignewman) February 3, 2019 @NFL you aren’t gonna make us forget about what you did to Kap just cause you let some black people perform on your little Super Bowl. #ImWithKap ✊?
— Sacramento KING (@IamKDiddy) February 3, 2019 Woof, that is some serious gall by the NFL to do an inspirational MLK spot while simultaneously icing out Kap.
— Brian Larsen (@LaneWinree) February 3, 2019 I’m not sure that “MLK would love the Super Bowl!!!!” is the best of all possible pivots here
— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) February 3, 2019 Celebrities showed solidarity with Kaepernick over the weekend by tweeting their support for the former San Francisco 49ers players. Many wore his jersey and said they would not watch the Super Bowl this year.
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