Rev. Jesse Jackson: Colin Kaepernick is a “Martyr” & Deserves the Right to Play Football

Rev. Jesse Jackson: Colin Kaepernick is a “Martyr” & Deserves the Right to Play Football

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we want to turn to a second
subject with you, Reverend Jackson, and this is the issue of the controversy of politics
and sports. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Right. We want to turn to the continued controversy. On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence flew
to Indianapolis, where he staged a walkout of an NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers
and the Indianapolis Colts, after players on both teams held a protest against racial
injustice during the national anthem. Pence tweeted, quote, “I left today’s
Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our
Flag, or our National Anthem. At a time when so many Americans are inspiring
our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience… …now, more than ever, we should
rally around our Flag and everything that unites us… While everyone is entitled to their own opinions,
I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National
Anthem.” Well, more than 20 members of the San Francisco
49ers knelt during the anthem, while Colts players stood with locked arms, wearing shirts
reading, “We will stand for equality, justice, unity, respect, dialogue, opportunity.” AMY GOODMAN: Afterward, several reports surfaced
that Vice President Pence’s decision to leave may have been pre-planned. NBC reporter Vaughn Hillyard, traveling with
the vice president’s pool, tweeted, “The media pool was kept in the vans ahead of the
game instead of being led in with VPOTUS. As media pool has been made aware, a staffer
told pool that VPOTUS“—that’s vice president of the United States—”may depart the game
early. Did not indicate how early.” Donald Trump took credit for Pence’s action,
tweeting, “”I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting
our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.” On Monday, Trump’s presidential fundraising
committee used the walkout in an email, telling supporters, quote, “Immediately after the
Vice President’s honorable display of leadership and patriotism, the Fake News Media relentlessly
ATTACKED him,” unquote. Well, meanwhile, the selfie that Pence tweeted
of him and his wife, saying he was looking forward to cheering Peyton Manning and the
Colts, was the same picture that was used in a tweet by then-Indiana Governor Pence
in November of 2014, when he tweeted, “Cheering on our colts w/FirstLadyIN as they kick off
the 2nd half! Go #Colts, beat Jaguars!” Well, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid,
who joined quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protests last year, referenced
that photo on Sunday. ERIC REID: With the information I have, him
tweeting a three-year-old photo, until—until he can prove that he’s been an avid Colt
fan and he comes to NFL games on a regular basis, this is a PR play. … My mother served in the armed forces. Three of my uncles served in the armed forces. In fact, my mom would have went to the Persian
Gulf War had she not been pregnant with me. I have the utmost respect for the military,
the anthem and the flag, so I will say that every time you all interview me. This is about systemic oppression that has
been rampant in this country for decades on top of decades. And I will continue to say and encourage people
to educate themselves of how we got to where we are today, because it didn’t happen overnight. And it’s not going happen overnight to fix
these issues. AMY GOODMAN: Vice President Pence’s brief
visit to Indianapolis cost the public an estimated quarter of a million dollars, after he traveled
from Las Vegas to Indianapolis for this brief appearance at Lucas Oil Stadium, before flying
back to a fundraising event in California. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Why
is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem,
Flag and Country? Change tax law!” Well, for more, we continue our conversation
with the Reverend Jesse Jackson. REV. JESSE JACKSON: You know, Trump’s issue is
the flag. Players’ issue is race discrimination. And this is not desecrating the flag, as in
wearing flag underwear or burning the flag, as some have done and found that they had
the right to do that by the Constitution. This is not flag desecration. This is about using the symbol as a gesture. When my father came home from World War II,
he had to sit behind Nazi prisoners of war on American military bases. The flag was still flying. The Klan flies the American flag and the Confederate
flag. Confederate flag is to protest against the
American flag. Union soldiers were veterans, too. And justice is what the flag is to be about. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I wanted to ask you, you,
yourself, as a former college football player, when you see the attacks now on these African-American
athletes, saying these are multimillionaires, they’re coddled, and they have no right
to be engaging in this kind of protest? REV. JESSE JACKSON: Most of them go to schools
where there’s 6 to 8 percent black school population and 80 percent black football and
basketball players. They are aware of apartheid on these campuses. They are aware that they they’ve gone from
picking cotton balls to picking footballs, but not really growing. They are aware of that. And Trump and Jerry Jones challenging their
sense of dignity and manhood just accentuates it to another level. Kaepernick, his right to have a job tryout
is being denied. His constitutional rights are being challenged. The players honor the First Amendment. And so, really, Trump and Pence are protesting
their right to exercise their First Amendment rights. AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to turn to what
the owners are going to do, from the NBA to the NFL. On Sunday, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
clarified his position on players kneeling during the national anthem, stating, “If
there is anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play,” period. Trump later tweeted, in response, “A big
salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will BENCH players who disrespect
our Flag. ’Stand for Anthem or sit for game!” Last month, Jones, along with members of the
Dallas Cowboys, took a knee before the anthem in a statement of unity with players. The NBA also has now said—you know, I mean,
Trump is really pushing this—that they—that players cannot take the knee during the anthem. REV. JESSE JACKSON: Trump is— AMY GOODMAN: The owners are going to meet
later this week, of the NFL teams. REV. JESSE JACKSON: Trump is threatening the owners. Owners are threatening the players and challenging
their sense of dignity, their sense of manhood. And these players are going to kneel as a
protest in the lineage of Dr. King, in the lineage of Mandela, in the lineage of their
families that they come from. And so, I would hope Jerry Jones will not
take a position so strong, so anti-American. He is otherwise a fairly decent guy. I’ve known him for a long time. I remember players he’s helped—Bob Hayes,
after playing days. He’s a good guy. But now I think Trump has diverted the issue
from racial justice to the flag. And how can Trump take the lead on a patriotic
flag test? When it was time for war, he ran. He’s a draft dodger. AMY GOODMAN: You know, the issue—you’re
a reverend. We had Reverend Barber on last week, and he
talked about the symbolic importance of taking a knee, of the symbol of prayer, Dr. King—and
you were with Dr. King in his last moments of breath—those images of him in places
like Birmingham taking the knee. REV. JESSE JACKSON: It’s not a—suppose it were
a symbol of the burning—burning the flag or desecrating the flag, or as some, as did,
wore flag underwear, to make another point. They are simply kneeling. And this, a nonviolent protest, should be
met with embrace. Curt Flood made a protest against the owners
owning players, when they tried to sell him. And the reason we have free agency today is
Curt Flood. He took the test of courage. He passed the test. He was kicked out of baseball. In some sense, he’s in the Ali “I have
the right to change my name and not fight a war” tradition. He’s in the lineage of the Jackie Robinsons. He’s in the lineage of those athletes who,
with a sense of dignity, a non-negotiable dignity, fought back. And I think that Colin Kaepernick is a martyr,
by virtue of his suffering, and he deserves the right, even now, to try out for teams. AMY GOODMAN: Harry Edwards says he should
be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Colin Kaepernick. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Yes. AMY GOODMAN: Juan?

62 Replies to “Rev. Jesse Jackson: Colin Kaepernick is a “Martyr” & Deserves the Right to Play Football”

  1. Kaep is a subpar QB. Also the NLF is a fan supported industry. You don't have free speech at work. With that said kaep should have been let go. Why should the NLF lose money for kaep's misguided protest?

  2. why would you put your words in somebody's MIND 🤔hmmm 😲this isn't right at ALL..this is soo wrong…
    MOVE on already…leave the kids alone,😟

  3. Is this a comedy? I don’t eat meat but I used to work in a restaurant. If I tried pushing my beliefs on the guest, would the restaurant have a right to fire me? Of course that would!

  4. YOUR job,IS to served people, not to undermine, THIS kids are professional football players…
    May almighty God helps us ALL AND ALL THE NATIONS..Amen and amen..

  5. Trump's priorities are NFL players who are exercising their right to free speech and self expression. Yet, wildfires destroyed entire communities in Cali, Puerto Rico sits in the dark, growing nuclear tensions with North Korea, a heroin epidemic continues thanks to prescription pills and a lack of support, school children continue to go hungry at lunch, there is growing income inequality, young adults owe mortgage sized debts to universities, a nazi movement has become visible and vocal in the US, Yemen is on the verge of a genocide at rhe hands of Saudi Arabia, and Flint is still without drinking water. And the POTUS is focused on people kneeling for a song. Pathetic, absolutely pathetic

  6. Colin is a poor player. He's not a martyr, one has to die to be a martyr. There are far better ways to protest other than stomping our flag or being disrespectful to our anthem. Why not protect the specific police departments instead? Maybe not the whole police department at that, why not just call out those specific officers who do wrong things? Not all police are bad. There are always a few bad apples in the bunch, but I'm sure half of you don't buy apples because one might be bad, that's your choice, the rest of people are not so petty. Colin or anyone for that matter do not have a right to play. You've got to earn it, and he threw away what little he had. Jesse Jackass is a damn shame and should never be compared to the freedom loving Dr King. Jesse is a racist a-hole, and he knows Dr King would call him out for what he is and what he stands for. Such a freakin hypocrite.
    Bwahaha, the white supremacists are all democrats. 76 year old Jesse Jackass, thank God he is near the end

  7. The national anthem bought and paid for by the national guard and our military…….it's a paid endorsement!!!!! Bought and paid for just like the government!!!!!

  8. Rememberthe ABA? Dr.J does…start a player run league…it would be awesome…lower ticket prices and a pre game concert instead…more fun less money please

  9. black people do not respect jessie anymore .White libs have him on to feel like they are doing something good by letting him on tv

  10. Jerry jones is doing the right thing ..Does not matter what trump does jessie .Players want to kneell let them kneel on the unemployment line . Take away the money and the slaves as they call themselves will get back out in the filed.

  11. I am a white-male USMC OEFOIFOND decorated combat vet. I support the "Keapernik Protests" 100%

    While deployed & working with foreign civilians & combatants, we were required to adhere to "Rules of Engagement" (RoE).
    One of them most common RoE's was "Do Not Fire, Until Fired Upon."
    It has been an OUTRAGE to return to my home country to see my fellow citizens do not receive the same discipline & respect.

  12. Trump publicly threatened the tax cuts for NFL owners. What do you think these guys are now gonna do? Of course they're going to break down and act against their players.


  14. Why is the NFL getting tax breaks? What's the basis for that? The FANS go to these games to experience a patriotic moment before seeing a good game. The FANS foot the bill all the way. But now the NFL is allowing activism to overshadow patriotism, before the game. When a FAN enters the stadium on game day. They have a right to certain expectations as the financial producers, or FANS, of the event. They are not captives to be subjected to disrespectful political ploys. Before watching a game that they, the FANS, paid for and see exist in the luxury it does today.

  15. The reason that there are armed private security going to Puerto Rico
    Mr. Jackson. Is because the democrat run island has CONFISCATED all the
    GUNS from the good citizens. And the criminals are having a
    ridiculously easy job of robbing/raping them. And the poor citizens
    don't want to go along with the Democrat's "Willing Victim" policies.
    So security must be provided by the US taxpayers. Democrats are the
    HYPOCRISY in our Democracy.

  16. Trump is not protesting their 1st amendment rights. The NFL is a job, not a speaking platform. Jobs have job descriptions and if you do not agree with the job description then employers have the right and duty to fire you. If these millionaire crybullies want to express themselves in speaking events or in media interviews, or political rallies or any other forum then the they have no obstructions. At my place of employment I follow the rules or get fired. That's the reality. I have something better to do with my sundays now. I am weaning myself from going to the games and watching on tv. My family is happier as well. I don't really care anymore if they kneel. Most of the police brutality narratives are fabrications anyway. Did you read about the Princeton University Professor Imani Perry who was allegedly brutalized by the police? Body cam video proved it was just another lie.

    "…films, football, beer, and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult…. "
    George Orwell, 1984

  17. No he doesn't deserve to play.. He is a total Asshole for disrespecting the Flag that Millions of American soldiers died for.. No mercy for that Bastard! Find another way to protest..

  18. Why don't people make clear that standing for the anthem is a recent idea, sponsored for purposes of military propaganda?

    This means that, far from being patriotic, the anthem has been PROSTITUTED?

  19. 70% of the NFL are black players. Unite and show the NFL PLANTATION OWNERS that without your talent there is no fucking game.

  20. Where are all the so called patriotic constitutionalists now who diligently protect the 2nd amendment now that the their own President is attacking the 1st? Don't you dare feign love and respect for the constitution by displaying your raging hard on for the 2nd amendment when you don't give a flying fuck about the 1st you hypocritical cunts.

  21. Why vote Jessie, when the elections can be electronically rigged as we saw in Ohio 2004. Carl Rowve's IT man died exactly the same way JFK Jr. died. Go figure!?

  22. Colin ought to run for President. SCREW football. He's got more courage and class. Any owner jerking players' ability to press this issue forward ought to be Gatorade bombed with a bucket of piss followed by a walk off strike.

  23. The administration has distorted the peaceful legitimate protest for some reason.  If this is really about respecting the flag and anthem– are they are going to force the fans to not be drinking beer, or buying hot dogs or going to the washroom or wearing the flag as underwear/bandanas/hats etc.

  24. the problem with the presidency is also the vice presidency – they both stink and both have to go , they've proven themselves sneaks and creeps over and over again , tell your kids ' you wanna be president , be a rat ! '


  26. Reverend? Jesse Jackson is no man of god. He's a profiteer of racism . If Jackson were a true man of God he would lead the Black communities to a place of healing and understanding, that what they need to do is work on the break down of Black families and the lack of fathers.

  27. To Hell with the racist nigtoads in the NFL. Let them get a real job like their brudders selling crack to school kids.

  28. Journalist Accuses Jesse Jackson of Sexually Harassing Her After Speech
    by Katherine Rodriguez 7 Nov 2017

    A journalist for The Root accused Rev. Jesse Jackson of sexual harassment after he allegedly grabbed her thigh at an event and said, “I like all of that right there!”

    Danielle Young, who works as a writer and producer for The Root, published a 2,000-word piece Monday 6 November 2017 alleging that Jackson inappropriately touched her as they took a photo together at an event where Jackson served as the keynote speaker in 2014.

    “I walked toward Jackson, smiling, and he smiled back at me,” Young wrote. “His eyes scanned my entire body. All of a sudden, I felt naked in my sweater and jeans. As I walked within arm’s reach of him, Jackson reached out a hand and grabbed my thigh, saying, ‘I like all of that right there!’ and gave my thigh a tight squeeze.”

    Young said the alleged incident left her “shocked,” adding that she laughed off the incident even though it made her uncomfortable.

    “And I continued to giggle as he pulled me in closer, stared down at my body, smiled and told me he was only kidding,” Young continued. “The entire time, my co-worker snapped photos.”

    A representative for Jackson released a statement apologizing for the alleged incident.

    “Although Rev. Jackson does not recall the meeting three years ago, he profoundly and sincerely regrets any pain Ms. Young may have experienced,” the representative said.

    Young is the second person to accuse Jackson of sexual harassment. Jackson was also accused of sexual harassment in 2011 when his former employee, Tommy R. Bennett, filed a formal complaint against Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH coalition in Chicago, alleging that his former employer discriminated against him based on his sexual orientation and sexually harassed him.

    Bennett claimed that Jackson asked him to rub a prescription cream on his thigh, and when he refused, the reverend got angry with him.

    Jackson, who has been a vocal critic of President Trump, told attendees of the Ministers March for Justice rally in Washington, DC, this past September 2017, that Trump “would not qualify to get into Jesus’ kingdom.”

  29. What Colin deserves is to be banned from football for starting all of this stuff for kneeling during the anthem. We have larger issues in the US to be considering than this silly nonsense.

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