(RNN) – A group has created a Change.org petition to boycott the NFL if quarterback Colin Kaepernick does not play in the 2017 NFL season.
The original petition by Unstripped Voice stated that once it reached 100,000 signatures, it would be delivered to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and every NFL team owner. They reached the goal in 12 days and the petition now has more than 140,000 signatures.
The group has a new goal of 1 million signatures by Sept. 7, the first day of the NFL regular season.
They are now targeting the sponsors of the NFL to get them to reconsider supporting the league if Kaepernick is not signed by a team.
— UNSTRIPPED VOICE (@UnstrippedVoice) August 9, 2017
In Aug. 2016, Kaepernick made headlines when he took a knee during the national anthem before a San Francisco 49ers preseason game.
Kaepernick said that he was doing so in protest of the ongoing unrest between minorities and the police.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” Kaepernick told NFL media.
Kaepernick continued to kneel throughout the regular season, and some teammates, along with players from other teams joined the protest.
He became a polarizing figure during the season, receiving praise and criticism from fans and spectators.
He opted out of his contract with the 49ers during the off-season and became a free agent. Since then, he hasn’t been able to find a job anywhere else in the NFL, and he has only met with one team, the Seattle Seahawks, who chose to sign Austin Davis instead.
Kaepernick’s play at quarterback started faltering after 2014, and he was benched for backup Blaine Gabbert during the 2015 season.
Kaepernick started 11 games for the 49ers in the 2016 season, throwing 16 touchdowns and four interceptions.
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