Why Isn’t the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Leading the Charge for Colin Kaepernick?

Why Isn’t the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Leading the Charge for Colin Kaepernick?

NOTE: I wrote this blog on 8/23/2017 with the help of NFL SuperStar, Northwestern WildcatLegend, and EducatorExtraordinaire D'Wayne Bates, but never posted it. (P.S. Bates also contributed heavily and greatly to the research and creation of my first novel, Single Girl Summer and I did not give him proper credit in the book acknowledgements). I haven't updated the NFLPA information so this is dated. I'm posting this to add context to the conversation happening on the Matt McGill afternoon show on WVON 1690AM right now. I will add in my thoughts on LeBron and China at a later date. BUT KNOW IN THE SPIRIT OF JOHN CARLOS AND MUHAMMAD ALI, #iStandWithLeBron #iStandWithHongKong #ColoredCoalition

After Taking a Knee, Black NFL Players Need to Take Over the NFL Players Association

I wish more people understood that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s greatest legacy was not just protesting unjust laws and organizing boycotts. His greatest legacy was working within the political system to pass Civil Rights laws and compel government enforcement. I’m so proud of Colin Kaepernick for using his massive sports platform to denounce and shine a light on racism in America. His protest follows in the heroic footsteps of Muhammad Ali, John Carlos, and Craig Hodges. But when he admitted to not voting in the presidential election, I have say my pride in him was shaken.

In America, voting in an election is the easiest and most important thing a person of color can and should do to demand change. After the election, I wondered if a “woke” Kaepernick didn’t exercise his basic right to vote, what else is he and his NFL protest platform sleeping on? Then Kaepernick decided to exercise his free agency clause and I found my answer. Kaepernick and other Black players are sleep on the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA).

From the website, The National Football League Players Association “is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected-including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989.”

Living in the city of Chicago, I understand the value and strength of unions. When the leaders of powerful Chicago unions like the Teamster, Chicago Teacher’s Union, and Fraternal Order of Police speak, the politicians and city leaders listen. To the politicians, the unions represent a large voting block and a large financial block. The union is a collective voice of the workers and it can cause a lot of trouble when the people they represent are not happy.

Right now on the NFLPA website, there is a list of the Top 50 Player merchandise sales from March 1-May 31, 2017. Colin Kaepernick ranks 39 in all NFL merchandise sales, yet he is the only player on that list who is currently unsigned. It’s obvious that the NFL owners have blackballed Kapernick for taking a knee during the national anthem and the NFLPA, the NFL player’s union, has not spoken out firmly in support of Kaepernick. I found an August 12 article in which the NFLPA union president Eric Winston said, “We’ve been in contact with Colin’s representatives, and we’ve let them know that we’re there and ready to help.” The statement goes on a few more lines, but the bottom line is the NFLPA is not helping or advocating for Kaepernick.


  • Where is Eric Winston D’Marice Smith?


The Executive Committee members of the NBPA (National Basketball Players Association) are:

-Chris Paul (President)

-LeBron James (First Vice President)

-Garrett Temple (Vice President)

-Carmelo Anthony (Vice President)

-Stephen Curry (Vice President)

-Pau Gasol (Vice President)

-Andre Iguodala (Vice President)

-Anthony Tolliver (Vice President)

Seven of the eight executive committee members are Black. The Executive Director of the NBPA is a Black woman named Michele Roberts who was a prominent DC attorney with a strong background negotiations.

In 2015, 74.4% of the NBA consists of black players, 23.3% white players, 1.8% Latino players, and 0.2 Asian players.


2020 NFLPA Quick Overview:

Information for Former Players

We are "One Team",  built around a fraternity of former NFL Players who are aligned, connected and engaged, working together in life beyond football.

No More Dues!

Join The Brotherhood. The NFLPA Lifetime Membership is now free.

2020 NBPA Quick Overview:


The EC is comprised of nine members: President, First Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer and six additional Vice-Presidents. The terms of office for the President and First Vice-President are four years while the Secretary-Treasurer and Vice-Presidents serve three year terms.

Members of the Executive Committee are elected by their peers at the Board of Player Representatives Meetings. Any union member who is in good standing and signed to a Standard NBA Contract is eligible to run for a position on the Executive Committee.

The duties of the Executive Committee (EC) include but are not limited to:

  • Directing NBPA affairs and the policy-making decisions necessary to carrying out the NBPA’s work
  • Reviewing and voting on all matters requiring player approval between meetings of the Board of Player Representatives
  • Participating in all telephonic conferences convened by the President and/or requested by the Executive Director
  • Sharing the duties and responsibilities of the Board of Player Representatives


If you enjoy the Red Cup Adventures blog, please support author Deanna Burrell by purchasing her first book...the inspirational guide Voted Most Creative. The paperback and ebook are available by clicking here.

If you want new Red Cup Adventures blogs delivered hot, fresh, and directly to your email box, type your email address below and click the "create subscription" button to sign-up for my blog alerts. The list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time. Thanks! And Please...LIKE, SHARE & COMMENT!

Leave a comment