The Kaepernick Effect Is Just Getting Started

Following Colin Kaepernick’s lead, NFL players are rallying against racial injustice

Colin Kaepernick wasn’t promised a posse.

After the San Francisco 49ers quarterback protested racial injustice during national anthems in preseason, league management didn’t exactly condone solidarity. Commissioner Roger Goodell publicly affirmed Kaepernick’s right to free speech, but said he disagreed with the decision to kneel, and urged players to “choose respectful ways” of using their platform. Executives from other teams called Kaepernick a “traitor” whom they wouldn’t sign.

When the regular season kicked off Thursday in Denver, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall—Kaepernick’s college teammate—kneeled for the anthem. The next day, Marshall’s sponsor Air Academy Federal Credit Union terminated its relationship. (Marshall lost a second sponsorship deal on Monday.)

So it wasn’t all internet outrage and scorched jerseys. Before the weekend even started, this type of protest had consequences, financial and professional. Sunday’s historical significance—the 15th anniversary of 9/11—didn’t help. Professional football players interested in supporting a colleague’s stand against police brutality now faced accusations of disrespecting a national tragedy.

Still, players joined in protest. In Kansas City, Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters raised a gloved right fist. In Seattle, four Dolphins players took a knee. Sunday night in Arizona, the New England Patriots’ Devin McCourty and Martellus Bennett raised fists of their own. And on “Monday Night Football,” Kaepernick and teammate Eric Reid kneeled before the flag, while 49ers linebacker Eli Harold, safety Antoine Bethea, and Rams players Kenny Britt and Robert Quinn stood with fists high.

Activism inherently rustles feathers, but more so when spliced into a billion-dollar entertainment product—and even more so when that product is synonymous with cultural norms. Televised football may be the cultural norm in America, now disrupted by claims that “normal” is broken. Despite the effort in Week 1, grumpy owners and tepid sponsors couldn’t stop players from saying so.

“They say it’s not the time to do this,” Dolphins running back Arian Foster, who kneeled, said after his team’s win. “When is the time?”

According to NFL reporter Robert Klemko, Sunday sparked a group text with over 70 league veterans, discussing that exact question. Next week, the chorus is likely to grow.


McDonalds sells a lot of coffee. Over a billion cups a year, to be exact. All that coffee leads to a lot of productive mornings, but it also leads to a lot of waste. Each year, millions of pounds of coffee chaff (the skin of the coffee beans that comes off during roasting) ends up getting turned into mulch. Some coffee chaff just gets burned, leading to an increase in CO2.

Now, that chaff is going to get turned into car parts. Ford is incorporating coffee chaff from McDonalds coffee into the headlamps of some cars. Ford has been using plastic and talc to make its headlamps, but this new process will reduce the reliance on talc, a non-renewable mineral. The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen and mixed with plastic and other additives. The bioplastic can then be formed into shapes.

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For over 20 years, our country has perceived itself as more divided than united, and it's not getting better. Right after the 2016 election, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 77% of Americans felt the country was divided on the most important values, a record high.

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via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

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