A rally was held Wednesday afternoon across the street from the NFL offices in Manhattan. There were two trucks holding video boards: one showing an image of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against social injustice; the other displaying the words “We support Kaepernick.”
USA Today estimates the event attracted about 75 participants at its height, but it was a passionate group who believe Kaepernick is being unfairly treated by the league because of his controversial protests during the national anthem before every game last season.
"This is a show of solidarity,” event organizer Kevin Livingston said. “We're here supporting Colin because we want to show that we don't think he's being treated the way he should be treated, and after everything he's done for us, we want him to feel that love and that support."
Livingston is president of the 100 Suits for 100 Men, a New York nonprofit that helps recently incarcerated individuals and others in need by providing attire to wear on job interviews. Kaepernick recently donated more than 50 suits to the organization.
The hour-long rally featured several speakers, including Livingston and Emerald Snipes, whose father, Eric Garner, died after being placed in a chokehold by a police officer in 2014.
"I know that [Kaepernick] took a knee for us," Snipes yelled into a megaphone at the rally. "So now we stand with him. It's not right that these cops get to walk away scot-free after they killed these unarmed men and this one NFL player stood up for us and gets all of this blackball, all of this backlash. It's not right."
NFL executives leaving the league office didn’t seem to pay much attention to the crowd gathered across the street on Wednesday, but members of that crowd vowed they would keep coming back until Kaepernick is signed.
“He stood up for our community,” Livingston said of Kaepernick. “He took these issues to a national platform. I feel that it’s only right that we stand up for him. We want to let the NFL know, we are not sitting silently, we are buying consumers and we want to make sure he gets a fair shot.”