In response to the NFL owners vote yesterday to fine teams if players on the field refuse to stand for the national anthem, Tanya Wallace-Gob em, executive director of the National Black Worker Center Project (NBWCP), released the following statement:

“The NFL’s decision to fine teams and Blackball players who do not kneel during the national anthem is an obvious display of White supremacy and White privileged thinking. A player’s kneeling has never been about patriotism. The irony is that while owners attempt to make kneeling about respect, the players are kneeling in opposition to the disrespect and oppression of Black and communities of color.

“This is more proof that America is stuck in a destructive and divisive cycle of bold and blatant bigotry and racial hatred aimed at people of color. Here we have a majority, White-owned sports league that profits off the labor of majority Black athletes.

“This is also more proof that regardless of professional status, income level, educational attainment, or family background, Black workers are targeted in the workplace to reinforce America’s outdated notion that White is right.

“The National Black Worker Center Project will continue to highlight the NFL’s  actions, and the action of all U.S. institutions, corporations and businesses that offer egregious examples of racist workplace discrimination and illustrate what #WorkingWhileBlack means.”

The NFL Players Association said it would review the new policy to see if it violates its collective bargaining agreement with the league.. They also released a statement on Wednesday.:

“The NFL chose not to consult the union in the development of this news ‘policy.’ NFL players have shown their participation through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, f and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.

“The vote by the NFL club CEOs contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara, about the principles, values and patriotism of our league.”