Credit: Screen grab
NFL Caves to Black Lives Matter Crowd — Will Air Police Brutality Ad During Super Bowl

NFL Caves to Black Lives Matter Crowd — Will Air Police Brutality Ad During Super Bowl

Four years after former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality, the NFL will air a pro-social justice Super Bowl ad that addresses the issue.

The 60-second commercial ran during the league’s conference championship games earlier in the month and will re-air during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Ad Age reported.

Part of the NFL’s Inspire Change Initiative, which is aimed at promoting awareness of social justice issues, the spot features retired Baltimore Ravens player Anquan Boldin describing the death of his cousin Corey Jones, who was shot and killed in 2015 by a Florida police officer.

The Inspire Change commercial contains a reenactment of the shooting and reactions from Jones’ family.

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The officer, Nouman Raja, was dressed in plain clothes. Jones, who was black, was stranded on the side of the road after his Hyundai broke down when the incident took place.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a recording showed Raja never identified himself as a police officer.

Raja claimed he acted in self-defense, but a Palm Beach County jury last year found him guilty of manslaughter and attempted murder.

NFL Super Bowl ad, a reaction to social justice concerns?

Kaepernick and other activists in the Black Lives Matter movement have pointed to several highly publicized shootings of black men by police as evidence of system racism in law enforcement.

An exhaustive 2016 study conducted by Harvard professor Ronald G. Fryer Jr. found no evidence of racial bias in police shootings.

Fryer’s study did find a difference in the likelihood of blacks and Hispanics experiencing physical interactions with police.

According to Fryer’s research, blacks and Hispanics were 50 percent more likely to be touched, handcuffed, have a weapon drawn on them or be pepper sprayed.

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A Washington State University, also published in 2016, found that police were more reluctant to shoot black suspects.

Kaepernick’s high-profile protest led him to spar publicly with the NFL.

Spectators have been divided on the Kaepernick’s newfound activism, with some heralding him for purportedly using his influence to speak truth to power and others criticizing him for what they perceive as ungrateful and un-American behavior.

Cover image: Colin Kaepernick. (Screen grab)

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