Yesterday, February 3rd, the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots faced off in Atlanta, Georgia for Super Bowl LIII. The game concluded another strife-filled season—much of it over the Colin Kaepernick-initiated Take A Knee movement. Musicians like Rihanna refused to play at this year’s halftime show, and comedian Amy Schumer said she would not appear in any Super Bowl ads—all in direct response to the league’s response to the situation. And on the day of the actual game, many shared that they wouldn’t be watching—including director Ava DuVernay.
On the morning of the 3rd, DuVernay tweeted her decision, writing,
The Selma director accompanied her statement with a video of spoken-word artist Hannah L. Drake‘s poem “All You Had To Do Was Play The Game Boy.” The piece compares the treatment of the protesting NFL players to slavery, noting that critics have said the players should be quiet and grateful for what they have.
Others echoed DuVernay’s sentiment using the same hashtag, #ImWithKap. Common shared pictures of himself with civil rights activist Angela Davis, who wore a jersey with Kaepernick’s former number on it. Meanwhile, Nick Cannon tweeted that he would donate to Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, an organization that helps young people of color learn about higher education and navigate interactions with law enforcement.
NBA players Stephen Curry and LeBron James were also seen wearing Kaepernick’s number over the weekend.
And many others chose to support Kaepernick by boycotting the game (they didn’t miss much, tbh).
We stand with Kaepernick and with all NFL players who wish to protest, and we commend DuVernay for using her platform to educate others on this issue.