DONT SLEEP will officially be organizing with Tim Clark and the Stand 4 Kaepernick movement for the Indianapolis Colts game on September 17th at 11:00am. As much as the S4KIndy: Official Standing 4 Kaepernick Protest – Indianapolis may have been initiated by the actions of Collin Kaepernick kneeling and sitting during the National Anthem to draw attention to the injustices in this country, it’s also about the daily lived interactions of POCs on the receiving end of injustice at the hands of law enforcement. Even NFL players don’t escape the effect of criminalization of blackness. Just ask Michael Bennett…
After being racially profiled and brutalized by the Las Vegas Police Department, he knows first hand how destructive and violent interactions with law enforcement can be, just for being black. Being an NFL star did nothing to stave off their excessive force.
The NFL has a laundry list of reasons to boycott and demand accountability. The blackballing of Collin Kaepernick is a blatant issue of racism, since the demonstration of not standing for the National Anthem is seen as disrespectful, a distraction and an issue that warrants his being passed over by the league despite leading San Francisco to a superbowl and playoffs in his career while back-up quarterbacks ride the pine with more interceptions thrown than games played.
But that’s not where the issues end. The NFL has no compunction with employing domestic abusers, rapists, and other socially inexcusable gridiron bruisers any given Sunday. But if you use your platform to draw attention to police brutality…the same brutality that Michael Bennett faced; that’s justified grounds for unemployment.
Collin Kaepernick has been an avid supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement with his demonstrations. In light of the murders of individuals like Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Walter Scott, Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Mya Hall, Miriam Carey, LaQuan McDonald, John Crawford and countless others. Locally, we’re nearly 80 days past the cowardly murder of Aaron Bailey by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers, Michal P. Dinnsen and Carlton J. Howard. His death entailed 11 shots into the back of his crashed vehicle, simultaneously endangering the life of his passenger while taking his life with four fatal bullets to the back, one of which entering and exiting his heart. In the 70+ days since his murder, both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave. While the Marion County Prosecutor has agreed to step aside and appoint a special prosecutor under pressure from the community; no formal charges have been filed against the officers and conclusive statements regarding the IMPD administrative investigation nor the Civil Rights investigation of the FBI have been made public. Essentially, justice has been delayed while two officers get a paid vacation for murder.
As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once famously stated; “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
We will be using this event to not only draw attention to the hypocrisy of the NFL, but also to lift the name of Aaron Bailey and call for action from IMPD Brass to terminate the officers responsible for his murder.
Kaepernick sat to raise awareness to the injustices in America. Sunday, we will stand so that his efforts were not in vain. For Aaron and all the siblings who have had their lives stolen at the hands of law enforcement. We hope to see you there as well.