Film director Spike Lee tweeted a flyer Tuesday for a “United We Stand” support rally for Colin Kaepernick on August 23 at the NFL Headquarters, 345 Park Avenue, New York City.
Lee clarified an hour later that he did not organize the rally himself, but he was throwing his support behind the event on behalf of Kaepernick, who has not yet been signed to an NFL team for the season.
The bottom of the flyer indicates the rally is being organized by the Empowerment Movement, Justice League NYC and The People’s Consortium for Human and Civil Rights, among others.
Reports are mixed as to why Kaepernick has not received an offer. Some athletic commentators have suggested that Kaepernick’s skill set and running style make him an injury risk for teams. Others have suggested that his political activism has turned off NFL teams uninterested in a player that attracts excess attention and criticism.
The Baltimore Ravens might offer Kaepernick a position, according to Business Insider, but no commitment has been made.
Sports Illustrated held a panel Monday to poll reporters who cover different sports teams what the reaction in their community would be if Kaepernick were signed. Responses were mixed, with some reporters indicating that there might be an initial strong fan reaction that cools down, and others indicating that fans would likely be enraged if their team cut a deal with the quarterback.
Lee has long expressed support for Kaepernick, who has made national headlines for his on- and off-field political protests and stances. Kaepernick’s political career began in the 2016 NFL preseason when, as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, he gained international fame for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racist policing practices, continuing throughout the season.
Kaepernick’s protest gained widespread support, including support from fellow athletes who began kneeling during the national anthem as well. It also drew heavy criticism from people who suggested that Kaepernick’s protest was anti-American or inappropriate for a public setting.
Kaepernick ranks 30th among all quarterbacks in the NFL by Football Outsiders’ Metrics. Earlier this year, Kaepernick was in discussions with the Seattle Seahawks, according to CBS Sports, but no offer manifested.
[Featured image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images]