Sports | October 17, 2017 11:49 am

Congressional Black Caucus Sends Letter to NFL’s Goodell Asking Him to Support Protests

Rep. Cedric Richmond invokes Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 'Letter From a Birmingham Jail.'

The National Football League just got schooled on history.

According to SB Nation, the Congressional Black Caucus sent NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and league execs an 1,800-word letter, asking them to see the protests for what they are: silent statements against police brutality.

Invoking Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s Letter From a Birmingham Jail, the letter also touches on those that feel the protests are unpatriotic. “I understand your discomfort with kneeling during the National Anthem, but please understand our pain—pain that we as African Americans have carried since we were first brought to this country on slave ships,” writes Congressman Cedric Richmond, leader of the Black Caucus. “For African Americans, it is not about standing, sitting, or kneeling for the National Anthem―it is about unarmed African Americans lying in a grave who were shot and killed by police officers.”

Richmond goes on to write that peaceful protests are not un-American, but rather “the most American things any citizen can do. In fact, it is a form of ‘speech’ that is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

President Trump should also be calling Colin Kaepernick “a patriot,” rather than a “son of a bitch,” Richmond argues. “If a person supports the cause of the Boston Tea Partiers, abolitionists, suffragettes, the Little Rock Nine and Freedom Riders, then he or she should support this cause too.”

Richmond brings the point home with the letter’ last sentence, letting a particularly relevant King quote speak for itself: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”