These Chicago Bars Are Boycotting The NFL In Support Of Colin Kaepernick
By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 25, 2017 7:22PM
Colin Kaepernick / Getty Images / Photo: Harry How
The start of the NFL season is less than two weeks away, and quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned—and his supporters in Chicago are taking action. The owner of two bars near Soldier Field will not show NFL games in either of his establishments as a show of support for the free agent quarterback.
Neither the Velvet Lounge (67 E. Cermak Rd.) nor the Bureau Bar (75 E. 16th St.) will air football games until Kaepernick is signed.
THE BUREAU BAR WILL BE SUPPORTING COLIN KAPERNICK'S CAUSE AND WILL NOT BE SHOWING ANY NFL GAMES https://t.co/IekJe5Qgl4— The Bureau Bar (@thebureaubarchi) August 24, 2017
THE VELVET LOUNGE WILL BE SUPPORTING COLIN KAPERNICK'S CAUSE AND WILL NOT BE SHOWING ANY NFL https://t.co/PwYYMvieBw— The Velvet Lounge (@VelvetLoungeChi) August 24, 2017
Kaepernick has remained without a contract throughout the offseason, even as a spate of quarterbacks who some critics say are less qualified have landed jobs. Many around the league have characterized the situation as blackballing, inflicted due to Kaepernick's past method of protest—kneeling during national anthems, which he did to protest police brutality and racial injustice.
The owner of the bars, Kenny Johnson, told DNA Info, who first reported the story, that his bottom line would likely suffer, but he felt that taking a stand was more important. "Every bar benefits from football games ... this is more about right and wrong," Johnson told DNA. "We'll take a hit, but be OK."
The boycott isn't the first expression of solidarity voiced for Kaepernick in Chicago. More than 900 people have said they'll attend a protest in support of the quarterback at Soldier Field, for the Bears' home opener.
Kaepernick has donated funds to Chicago organizations (Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation-SOUL and Black Youth Project 100) as part of his pledge to give $1 million to charity. He also attended the Know Your Rights campaign here last May.
Dozens of current and retired NYPD officers gathered in New York over the weekend to show support for the QB. Several hundred supporters rallied outside NFL headquarters in Manhattan in solidarity on Wednesday.