A new professional football league apparently spearheaded by former Black players was announced Thursday, amid turmoil in the National Football League over its athletes protesting racism by kneeling during the national anthem.
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Former NFL running back Ricky Williams broke the news about the Freedom Football League on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”
Approximately 100 “stakeholders,” including 50 former NFL players, are starting the league. The owners include Terrell Owens, Simeon Rice and Mike Alstott, ESPN reported.
In describing the mission of the league, Williams hinted that it would permit players to protest.
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“We’re trying to develop young men. You can’t take away their voice and expect them to develop. … When I grew up watching football, I really wanted to be like Jim Brown, not because of what he did on a field, but because he could take that platform and have a voice. And so, when I got to the NFL, expecting that to be the case, anytime a big social issue came up, we were told, ‘Be quiet. … It’s a distraction.’ And so, really, [we’re] changing the conversation,” he said.
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to take a knee during the national anthem in 2016 to protest racism in the criminal justice system. He started a movement at the expense of his professional football career.
It’s not clear how the Freedom Football League will manage that issue. But Williams offered a clue.
“The purpose of this league … is about community and the development of players,” Williams stated. “… In thinking about creating this league, I wanted to create a league that I could have stayed in and been comfortable and really thrived. The NFL started a long time ago, and since then a lot of things have changed. And we want to create a league that’s ready for that change and invite some more of it.”
The new league is slated to have 10 teams that would play in the spring and summer. It wants to attract high-quality players from college, high school and international leagues—as well as NFL defectors.
Funding for the Freedom League would come from private and public sources, which enables fans to become part owners.
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Could Colin Kaepernick Join The Washington Washington Football Team?
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The Washington Football Team are now out TWO quarterbacks. So why don't they sign @Kaepernick7??— Joe Madison (@MadisonSiriusXM) December 4, 2018
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I don’t know what Colt McCoy’s injury isnor how long he’ll be out,but this would be the perfect time and opportunity for the @nfl and the Washington Football Team to offer Colin Kaepernick and opportunity to play.He’s clearly far more qualified than most of the other options. Prove no collusion— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) December 4, 2018
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The Washington Football Team signed Rueben Foster a few hours after his latest domestic violence charge. But now, down to their 3rd string QB, they won’t sign Colin Kaepernick because that would be controversial.— Dave Pell (@davepell) December 4, 2018
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@Kaepernick7 he’s better than those qbs.— #RIPBP/BM (@RIPBPBlackMamba) December 4, 2018
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Go sign Colin Kaepernick stop playing around with the wack-ass quarterbacks that's out there in free agency— lou-tenant (@kwik619) December 4, 2018
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If the Washington Football Team picked up Colin Kaepernick now that all they have left is Sanchez they so would be so hated for so many different reasons they could possibly Unite the country. #MondayNightFootball #redskins #foster #ColinKaepernick #NFL— Trness (@trnesses) December 4, 2018
7 of 10
Here’s the fact: If the #Redskins don’t sign Colin Kaepernick, the season is definitely over. He’s the only QB out there that at least gives us a chance.— Bobby Blanco (@Bobby_Blanco) December 4, 2018
If you’re not gonna sign him, bring on the draft.
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@ThomasBoswellWP if the Washington Football Team do not now go after Colin Kaepernick, the conspiracy charge against the NFL becomes even more ironclad.— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) December 4, 2018
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The fact that the Washington Football Team are willing to sign Reuben Foster and not Colin Kaepernick is utterly atrocious. This lifelong Skins fan hopes they do not win another game.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) December 4, 2018
Will New Professional Football League Allow Players To Kneel In Protest Of Racism? was originally published on newsone.com