The atmosphere yesterday was definitely positive as both protesters and police behaved in a civil, non-confrontational manner outside of the Park Ave offices of the National Football League.
WATCH- The #ImWithKap Rally
Rally for Kap 2017
During an action of protest, decorum and civility are often thrown out the window by a particular side which often brings an unfavorable response from another. From an African-American historic viewpoint, the anti protesters are paid police officers more often than not. Sometimes, the difference between a civil protest and a roaring riot is civility.
As the crowd gathered on the steps and courtyard area of 345 Park Ave, NYPD set up barriers to separate the protesters from a pedestrian area. At about 40 minutes prior to the official beginning of the rally, a man came across the public-address system advising protesters to move to the designated protest area and away from private property.
A few dozen people moved, but most of the mass stayed put.
Some great images from the #UnitedWeStand rally for Colin Kaepernick by our @bryonsummers.
The call went out again about 15 minutes later, but this time even fewer people than before trickled into the designated protest area. The NYPD maintained a stealth presence and there were a handful of officers near the intersections guiding foot traffic and manning the barriers.
Parked within my view from the press area was a line of about eight police motorcycles parked inconspicuously two blocks away. However, because I stand taller than most of the people in the press area, I spotted them. There were also many more vehicles and personnel on the side streets.
Though they were professional, I know the potential for THEM to get out of hand.
But with elders, parents and children on hand to lend support to Colin Kaepernick, Im ecstatic that nothing occurred and that the affair was noncontroversial. Though Spike Lees name was used to galvanize New York-based organizations behind Kaep, the world-renowned director was not in attendance. Understandably, neither was Colin.
Perhaps set ablaze by a recent article by Shadow League contributor Rob Parker that appeared to call out Colins fellow Kappa members in the league’s coaching fraternity for not supporting the former NFL Pro Bowler, with a rebuttal from TSL contributor Evan Moore, the Kappas appeared with a crew that was deeper than Atlantis and as loud as the proverbial roaring seas.
Mere minutes afterwards, a young woman sang a beautiful rendition of the Black National Anthem, Life Every Voice. Afterwards, the organizers stepped forward and reminded the crowd of around 1,500 people the purpose of the gathering: Colin Kaepernick, his protest and his unemployment status.
Hundreds of supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick are rallying outside the New York City headquarters of the National Football League to support him. (Aug. 23) Subscribe for more Breaking News: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress Get updates and more Breaking News here: http://smarturl.it/APBreakingNews The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats.
The rally was organized by the Peoples Consortium for Human Rights, Justice League NYC, Tamika D. Mallory, Symone D. Sanders, Pastor Jamal Bryant via Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Mark Thompson, Frank Madison and a cadre of nonviolent activists and allies, including U.S. Olympic gold medalist and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.
Those in attendance seemed to hang on every word uttered from the speaking collective, and each laid out ideas to punish the NFLs corporate sponsors for their continued business practices with the NFL.
The rally ended on time and protesters meandered on their chosen modes of transportation. The major news networks shot their B-Roll footage and journalists networked as I pointed my toes toward the nearest D train subway stop.
I couldnt help but feel hopeful that some good would result from the energy of the noble and just in supporting Kaepernick and like-minded players who are currently protesting in the National Football League, using their platform to call attention to things that are foul and must change.