Posts Tagged ‘Racial Equality’

Colin Kaepernick will receive Harvard University’s highest honor in African and African-American studies next month.

The former NFL quarterback, along with comedian Dave Chappelle and six others, will be presented with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal at the sixth annual Hutchins Center Honors on Oct. 11, the university announced Thursday.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Medal is awarded to those who “have made significant contributions to African and African-American history and culture, and more broadly, are individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world.” Past recipients include Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, and Oprah Winfrey.

In its press release, Harvard highlighted Kaepernick’s pledge to donate $1 million to community organizations, which he completed in January. He was recently made the face of Nike’s “Just Do It” 30th-anniversary campaign.

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President Donald Trump bashed Nike for its endorsement of Colin Kaepernick, who was crowned the face of the company’s 30th anniversary campaign.

“I think it’s a terrible message,” Trump told Vince Coglianese and Saagar Enjeti of The Daily Caller. “Nike is a tenant of mine. They pay a lot of rent.”

Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel for the national anthem in a protest against social injustice throughout the United States. He’s been unemployed since March 2017 and is attempting to sue the NFL for collusion.

Trump has repeatedly attacked Kaepernick and other NFL players who have demonstrated during the national anthem before games. He once went as far as to call Kaepernick a “son of a b—-” for refusing to stand.

“But I think it’s a terrible message that they’re sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there’s a reason for them doing it, but I think as far as sending a message, I think it’s a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent,” Trump said. “There’s no reason for it.”

Trump added that he respects Nike’s right to support Kaepernick, even if he doesn’t.

“As much as I disagree with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, in another way – I mean, I wouldn’t have done it,” he said. “In another way, it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it.”

The NFL released a statement on Tuesday after Nike, one of its major sponsors, named free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.

“The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding, and unity. We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities,” said Jocelyn Moore, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications and public affairs, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

“The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action.”

Nike announced the deal on Monday, sparking wide-ranging reactions. While some praised the decision to tacitly endorse the quarterback’s work against social inequality and police brutality with the campaign, others were critical and said they would no longer be purchasing the company’s products – with some even burning Nike clothes in protest.

The campaign kicked off with a close-up image of Kaepernick with the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Kaepernick, who is currently suing the NFL for collusion, has been away from football since opting out of his deal with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017.

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick shared an image via Twitter on Monday of a photo that will be used as one of the the faces of Nike’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign.

Kaepernick joins Serena Williams, Odell Beckham Jr., and LeBron James among others in the groundbreaking series. Nike retweeted the photo Kaepernick posted on Twitter, tacitly endorsing his protests against social inequality and police brutality.

“We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, said to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

The former 49ers quarterback received widespread praise for his involvement in the campaign with many praising Nike for prominently featuring him in the series. Not everyone is enthused, however, with some tweeting that they’d no longer purchase Nike products as a result.

Kaepernick remains locked in a collusion case against the NFL. An arbitrator ruled last week that the case won’t be denied, as per the league’s request.

Serena Williams said every athlete ”should be completely grateful and honored” for the protests started by former NFL players Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid.

Kaepernick and Reid, two former San Francisco 49ers now out of the league, were each given huge ovations when they were introduced and shown on the big screen during the match between Serena and Venus Williams at the U.S. Open on Friday night. Serena Williams said she was focused on the match and did not notice the pair in the stands. Reid raised his fist and Kaepernick smiled for the fans.

Kaepernick tweeted a photo of his young niece with Serena and wrote, ”Lani lost it when Serena surprised her after the match!!! Thank you so much Serena !!!”

Serena said she was grateful for the stand they took that has seen both players take on the NFL. An arbitrator is sending Kaepernick’s grievance with the NFL to trial, denying the league’s request to throw out the quarterback’s claims that owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protests of social injustice. A similar grievance is still pending by unsigned safety Eric Reid, who played with Kaepernick in San Francisco and joined in the protests.

Kaepernick began a wave of protests by NFL players two seasons ago, kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. The protests have grown into one of the most polarizing issues in sports, with President Donald Trump loudly urging the league to suspend or fire players who demonstrate during the anthem.

”I think every athlete, every human, and definitely every African-American should be completely grateful and honored how Colin and Eric are doing so much more for the greater good, so to say,” Serena said. ”They really use their platform in ways that is really unfathomable. I feel like they obviously have great respect from a lot of their peers, especially other athletes, people that really are looking for social change.”

Serena Williams equaled her most-lopsided victory ever in 30 professional meetings with sister Venus, beating her 6-1, 6-2 in the third round.

New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch does not agree with how United States President Donald Trump is handling the NFL’s national anthem protesting controversy – or the fact that Trump is addressing it at all.

“Hopefully he’ll have much more going on that he’s going have to deal with and should deal with and must deal with than worrying about what NFL players do,” Tisch told Mark Malkin of The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday. “He has no understanding of why they take a knee or why they’re protesting. When the new season starts, I hope his priorities are not criticizing the NFL and telling owners what to do and what not to do.”

Trump has been very vocal regarding the league’s new anthem policy and protesting players. In May, he said players who do not stand for the anthem “shouldn’t be in the country,” and reportedly suggested punishing the NFL for its protesting players as part of a GOP tax reform.

The Giants co-owner said he stands behind his players if they choose to protest during the 2018 season, despite potential fines from the league.

“We support our players,” Tisch said. “They are not going to be punished. There is not going to be any punitive action taking place against them.”

Tisch made his comments before the NFL and NFLPA announced Thursday that they’re working on a “resolution to the anthem issue.” No new rules about demonstrations during the anthem will be enacted or enforced while those discussions continue.

The Philadelphia Eagles gained a somewhat unlikely ally in their fight for social justice, amid a controversy spurred by Donald Trump’s decision to disinvite the Super Bowl champion from the White House.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers legend and FOX NFL Sunday analyst/co-host Terry Bradshaw offered his wholehearted support for the Eagles in their protest.

“I agree with the Eagles. Totally. One hundred percent. Trump just needs to … go somewhere and enjoy the money he’s got,” Bradshaw told TMZ Sports.

“You know what’s so bad about that whole event? Was how they were portrayed as protesting, kneeling, during the national anthem when they were praying. That is just wrong.”

Bradshaw has been a consistent supporter of the Republican Party and hasn’t been shy in making his conservative views public.

After the NFL instituted a policy requiring players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the sidelines prior to a game, sociopolitical tensions between players, owners, and the Trump administration don’t appear to be subsiding anytime soon. The Eagles now have a powerful ally in their corner, while Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long continue to be among the most vocal advocates of social justice in the NFL.