Target: Air Academy Federal Credit Union CEO Glenn Strebe and CenturyLink CEO Glen F. Post, III
Goal: Apologize for dropping football player because he took a knee during the national anthem, exercising his freedom of speech.
A national football player has been snubbed by two companies for exercising his freedoms of expression and protest during the national anthem at games. Both the Air Academy Federal Credit Union and CenturyLink have dropped endorsement deals with Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos specifically for his decision to kneel during the national anthem as part of a protest against country-wide police brutality against black Americans and other forms of social injustice in the U.S.
CenturyLink claimed that it “completely respect[s] Brandon Marshall’s personal decision and right to take an action to support something in which he strongly believes,” but the company’s actions say exactly the opposite. Marshall is under no obligation, moral or otherwise, to show allegiance to a nation that has demonstrated in many ways and in many instances that it would rather see him dead than respect his rights and humanity.
The truth is that there is no way for people of color to protest in this country that isn’t condemned by white people and corporations. Professional athletes sitting or kneeling during the national anthem is a peaceful yet evocative form of protest that demands positive change in a nation still suffering from unequal treatment of its citizens. Striving to make one’s country better is far more patriotic than passively going along with a tired ritual of allegiance and obedience.
Brandon Marshall should be praised as an exemplary American citizen, not punished for a peaceful protest. Sign our petition to demand that these companies make restitution for dropping their endorsement deals with him.
Dear Mr. Strebe and Mr. Post, III,
Both of your companies have dropped your endorsement deals with Mr. Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos. The reasons you gave for this decision surrounded Marshall’s show of protest by kneeling during the national anthem rather than standing.
Nothing is more patriotic than making efforts to improve one’s country. Through this highly visible form of protest, Marshall is exposing himself to a lot of hate and harassment, all in an attempt to make this nation better. He should be praised for his bravery and commitment to justice while others do nothing, not punished.
Punishing people who use their American freedoms in an attempt to increase the equality and justice that this nation is supposed to be built upon is unpatriotic. We demand that you make restitution with Marshall–at the very least apologizing to him and to the country for your un-American actions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Newtown grafitti