The controversy surrounding silent protests in the NFL took a turn for the worse Wednesday when commissioner Roger Goodell announced that players would be fined if they choose to kneel during the national anthem. The decision has been met with overwhelmingly negative reactions, and some people are even demanding that league sponsor Nike reconsider its partnership with the NFL.
A petition created on Care2 demands that Nike and other sponsors including Under Armour end their ties with the league. The appeal calls the NFL's decision offensive and a "shameful stand against their players right to free and peaceful speech," citing then-Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett's ugly run-in with police as an example of exactly why players should be allowed to protest as they see fit.
In a statement last September, Nike said that it "supports athletes and their right to freedom of expression on issues that are of great importance to our society," but now, the petition is pressuring the brand to stand behind its words with action.
The campaign has already reached nearly 9,000 supporters with a total goal of 10,000. Readers can show their support for the cause by signing the petition here.