A group of black pastors in Alabama recently released a video that is beginning to go viral on the internet. The clergymen said they have had enough of the NFL owners’ reluctance to sign free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the aftermath of his season-long, silent, non-violent protest of police brutality. So, they are calling on their parishioners and others to #blackout the NFL.
I want to be clear. I’m a football fan. I played it most of my life, growing up and there’s rarely a Sunday that I’ve missed in my adult years,
Until Kaepernick, who kneeled during the national anthem throughout 2016 as a member of the 49ers, is signed, the pastors are encouraging black folks in particular, and everyone in general, to refrain from watching NFL games, purchasing NFL-licensed paraphernalia and participating in fantasy football.
The pastor’s video is the latest effort is just one of many growing movements in support of Kaepernick amid growing pressure on NFL owners to offer Kaepernick a job as the NFL season rapidly approaches.
“I want to be clear. I’m a football fan. I played it most of my life, growing up and there’s rarely a Sunday that I’ve missed in my adult years,” said Deblaire Snell, senior pastor of First Seventh Day Adventist Church in Huntsville Alabama. “But there comes a point in time where I’ve got to prioritize my convictions more than my entertainment value.”
And taking it a step further and raising the bar – the pastors are also committing themselves and their congregations to community service by dedicating one to two hours on Sundays for the next 17 weeks to “pouring into” African-American boys and girls, something they’ll do even if Kaepernick gets picked up, and prayer for their community and government officials.
“This protest is not anti-flag because people of color love the stars and stripes,” Pollard said. “It is not anti-American because of people of color have loved this country even when this country has not loved us back. And this country is not anti-veteran because we support those who have made sacrifices so that our liberties have been secured. This protest is to ensure the rights of all Americans regardless of color or creed to be heard.”
The #BlackOut movement advocates four actions steps:
1. Boycott the NFL (no games, no fantasy football, no jerseys, no NFL nothing).
2. Commit to one-two hours during the NFL season to using the time you would have watching games to mentoring young black boys and girls.
3. Spread the word to others.
4. “Take a knee” in prayer at 6 a.m. each morning.