Colin Kaepernick is using his national platform as an NFL quarterback voice his critical opinions about racism in the U.S. For the past few weeks, the footballer has taken to kneeling as opposed to standing in protest of the multiple instances of systemic police brutality that have made headlines in recent years.
While Kaepernick is well within his right as an American citizen to speak his mind about these issues, that hasn't stopped a number of football fans from getting up in arms about what they perceive as his lack of patriotism. What began as a massive wave of people voicing their tone-deaf outrage online has turned into a fledgling Twitter campaign urging people to punish Kaepernick by boycotting the NFL.
Today, the hashtag #BoycottNFL began trending and shockingly, it was chock full of the sort of people whom one imagines might not exactly understand why #AllLivesMatter is an inappropriate, dismissive thing to say in response to #BlackLivesMatter:
— Deplorable Homo! (@USAsHero) September 9, 2016
— Ricky Vaughn (@Ricky_Vaughn99) September 9, 2016
— Jared Wyand 🇺🇸 (@JaredWyand) September 9, 2016
— FLPrincess4Trump♛ (@lollicakesFL) September 9, 2016
While there are still many people using #BoycottNFL to express their rage over a black man speaking out against the killing of black people by police officers, there are also those who've co-opted the hashtag to draw attention to the fact that nobody was trying to boycott the league when players came under fire for things like domestic violence:
And, apparently, how the National Federation of Labor isn't doing its job correctly:
This isn't the first time this year that people with questionable motivations have attempted to penalize the NFL for the role it has inadvertently played in transmitting powerful messages about black people in America. Earlier this year, angry opponents of Black Lives Matter organized an unsuccessful anti-Beyoncé gathering outside of the NFL's headquarters in an attempt to….make themselves heard?
Much in the same way that nobody really showed up to march in front of the NFL's building, it's unlikely that people are actually going to give up watching football on opening weekend because they disagree with a player's political statements.
But hey, you never know.
In other news, Kaepernick's jersey continues to be one of the best selling items in the NFL's online store.