The hashtag #ImWithKap began trending on Twitter on Sunday as many celebrities and athletes vowed to stand in solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick on the day of the Super Bowl.
Rapper Common, comedian Nick Cannon, film director Ava Duvernay and actress Jodie Turner-Smith were among the individuals to post a tweet including words of support for Kaepernick with the #ImWithKap hashtag.
Duvernay and Turner-Smith, as well as The Root, a digital magazine that explores issues from an African-American perspective, vowed to boycott the game to protest the fact that Kaepernick remains unsigned by an NFL franchise.
"I will not be a spectator, viewer or supporter of the #SuperBowl today in protest of the @NFL’s racist treatment of @Kaepernick7 and its ongoing disregard for the health + well-being of all its players," DuVernay tweeted. "To watch the game is to compromise my beliefs. It’s not worth it. #ImWithKap."
Cannon tweeted that he was donating $7 to the Know Your Rights Camp, a free campaign for youth funded by Kaepernick, and challenged others to make a similar donation.
The messages of support come the same weekend that NBA stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant wore “#ImWithKap” jerseys before their respective games.
Kaepernick during the 2016-17 football season knelt during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. Dozens of players have participated in the demonstration in the ensuing years.
But the protests have proven controversial. President Trump, among others, has repeatedly railed against athletes who kneel during the anthem.
Kaepernick became a free agent when the 2016-17 season concluded and has not been signed by an NFL franchise since. He later filed a grievance against NFL owners in 2017 and claimed they colluded to keep him out of the league.
An arbitrator ruled last summer that his case against the league could proceed to a trial.
BY JUSTIN WISE