Dozens of demonstrators blitzed the NFL’s Manhattan headquarters Friday, calling on the league to reverse its controversial policy on player protests during the national anthem.
Roughly 60 civil rights activists showed up at the rally in Midtown chanting “take a knee, stand your ground, if you don’t get it, shut it down.”
“The NFL decided that they were going to shred the Constitution of the United States of America,” said National Action leader Kirsten John Foye.
“We are not going to let the NFL owners be a proxy for a fascist president. We’re not going to let the NFL owners resurrect slavery in the 21st century in the name of professional sport.”
The protest took place two days after the league’s owners, in a surprise move, announced that teams will be fined if their players take a pre-game knee during the national anthem.
The ban drew instant criticism from several players arguing that the league was wrong to block their ability to express themselves on the field.
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick pioneered the now common practice of players taking a knee to protest police brutality against blacks.
“The NFL is complicit in the oppression of black and brown people in this moment,” said activist Tamika Mallory.
“What is being said is that the n—— don’t have basic rights.”
Radio host Reverend Mark Thompson tied the policy to the midterm elections.