NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Supporters of unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick are planning another rally this month in front of the NFL headquarters in Manhattan.
Kaepernick is still a free agent, and some believe that has everything to do with the former 49er’s controversial decision last season to kneel during the national anthem while he protested racial oppression and police brutality in the U.S.
On Tuesday morning, director Spike Lee, who earlier this year called for the Jets to sign Kaepernick, tweeted out an image promoting the Aug. 23 rally. Multiple organizations are involved in the protest, including the Justice League NYC and the Empowerment Movement.
The Daily News noted Tuesday that Kaepernick’s name is misspelled on the poster. Even though his last name is obstructed in the image, it’s clear the first “e” is missing.
Some media reports initially speculated Lee was organizing the event, but he later clarified on Twitter: “I Did Not Organize And Set Up This Protest. However I Still Support My Brother And His Stance On The Injustices In The USA.”
It’s not the first protest supporting Kaepernick, 29, at NFL headquarters this year. In May, the group 100 Suits for 100 Men, which works with parolees who are trying to re-enter the workforce, held a show of solidarity for Kaepernick. Kevin Livingston, the group’s president, said he wanted to help Kaepernick after the former 49ers quarterback donated 50 suits to help parolees on job interviews.
Numerous other rallies were held the same day across the country.
The 49ers selected Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 draft. A year later, he led San Francisco to the Super Bowl. But the once-promising star has struggled over the past two seasons, being yanked in and out of the lineup and going just 3-16 as a starter. In March, he opted out of his contract, which would have paid him $14.5 million this season.
Kaepernick, 29, said through his representatives this offseason that he doesn’t plan to continue kneeling during the anthem.
While it’s impossible to definitively say whether Kaepernick’s political views or his inconsistent play — or a combination of the two — are the reason he has yet to sign with a team, Giants co-owner John Mara did provide a glimpse in May into the potential backlash teams might face, telling TheMMQB.com that fans wrote to the team threatening to boycott if Kaepernick were signed.
“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Mara said. “If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game.’ It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I’ve run into.”
Mara said the Giants never discussed signing Kaepernick because they were more focused on finding a potential long-term successor to Eli Manning.
The Ravens were reportedly considering signing Kaepernick after quarterback Joe Flacco injured his back last month, but team owner Steve Bisciotti admitted the move would “upset some people.”
“I hope we do what is best for the team and balance that with what is best for our fans,” Bisciotti said at a fan forum.