SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The NFL preseason begins in earnest Thursday night, but former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick finds himself still without a job.
Kaepernick became a polarizing figure in the sport last season when he chose not to stand for the National Anthem in protest of the treatment of African-Americans in the United States.
Many believe his protest has led to teams bypassing him when it came time to fulfill their needs at quarterback for this season.
On August 23rd, a rally will be held outside the NFL headquarters in New York City where protesters want to deliver a message to the league for what they believe is the unfair treatment of the former star.
Famed director Spike Lee is among those supporting the rally organized by Carmen Perez, the co-founder Justice League NYC.
“We want to send a clear message to the NFL,” Perez told CBS. “If people feel politically connected to their communities they should be able to make a statement.”
Fan opinions about the 29-year-old who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl a few years ago run the gamut from support to criticism.
“For most teams,” football fan Sal Karch said. “It’s a business decision.”
However, Jared Taylor does not believe Kaepernick is being treated fairly.
“They are not giving him a chance,” he told CBS.
Both the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins have turned to other players in the recent weeks when they needed a veteran backup for the upcoming season.
The New York Giants brought three quarterbacks here to training camp to try out for the backup job, but not Kaepernick.
Team owner John Mara said the controversy surrounding Kaepernick “may have scared some teams away” but there is no organized effort to blackball him.
However, when outspoken ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith was asked, his answer was a very strong “without question.”
Perez said her group wants to change that.