NEW YORK (CBS4) – A petition to boycott the NFL if Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned is picking up a lot of steam.
A group on Change.org is working to gain 100,000 signatures to petition NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, as well as every team owner, saying they won’t watch if the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick isn’t picked up by a new team.
As of this writing, they are approximately 5,000 signatures short of their goal.
The group is criticizing the league for blackballing Kaepernick, speculating he’s unsigned because he’s viewed as a “distraction” for taking a knee last season in protest of racial inequality, something Goodell said is not happening while visiting Broncos headquarters last week.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said last season. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick worked out with the Baltimore Ravens recently, but they did not sign him. The Miami Dolphins had an opening, too, but former Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler came out of retirement to sign with the team.
Unlike Cutler, though, who only made the Pro Bowl in 2008, Kaepernick has completed 59.8 percent of his passes and has a career interception rate of only 1.8 percent. He also led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013.
Despite those accomplishments, Kaepernick had a record last season with the 49ers of just 1-10.
For part of last season, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, as well as other players around the league, joined Kaepernick in taking a knee.
Marshall ended his protest before the regular season wrapped up.
Director Spike Lee tweeted Tuesday that he will hold a rally at NFL headquarters on Aug. 23 in support of Kaepernick.