Publisher’s Note: Advocate! Resist! Are you supporting the NFL Boycott?

Advocate! Resist! Are you supporting the NFL Boycott?

By Ronda Watson Barber

I have had many conversations about the boycott of the National Football League for its failure to sign quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a contract for the upcoming football season. Last season, Kaepernick kneeled during the playing of the National Anthem.

He says, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.”

That’s a powerful statement and stance.  I have much respect for a young professional athlete that is willing to put his career and livelihood on the line. He took a knee standing up for Black people.  Are you going to support him?  Are going to take BlackCentral’s challenge?  Business is political.  Can a message be sent by withholding Black dollars?  Can changes be made? The Black community has serious purchasing power.  Supporting and growing Black businesses will make a difference.  A group of Black ministers are encouraging the community to invest time with young people instead of watching professional football on Sunday afternoons.  Their video message is posted on

I am a proud American.  As a Blue-Star mother, my youngest son is a member of the United States Army.  On a recent visit to Fort Benning, I was humbled and honored to be in the presence of young men of all races, religions and backgrounds.  They were training to protect and defend our country.  America is great!  There are more freedoms and opportunities here than anyplace on the planet.

Our’s is not a perfect union.  As responsible citizens we have an obligation to continually work to make America better.  Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall said, “We must dissent, because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”

There are those that believe that kneeling during the National Anthem is Un-American.  America was founded on dissention by a bunch of agitators.  Protests aren’t supposed to make people comfortable.
Isn’t freedom one of our greatest virtues? Forcing others to comply with your beliefs and values isn’t freedom.

Just my thoughts…rwb

Retraction: In a past column, I indicated that the Columbus NAACP had been a force in Columbus City Schools changing a barrier for small businesses by removing the requirement that businesses provide evidence of general liability insurance upon registering as a vendor.  District Chief Operating Officer Maurice Oldham attended a business forum hosted by the Columbus NAACP last spring and publicly indicated that changes were made and insurance was no longer required when registering a vendor.

Factually, nothing has changed.  Prospective vendors are still required to produce insurance in order to register to receive bid information directly from the state’s largest public school district. Oldham stood up before a group of business owners and tax payers and provided fake news or alternative facts.  The process he presented as a change or break through was already in place.  Business owners can get access to Columbus City School contracting information by visiting website owned by a private company without producing insurance.  In my opinion, the District continues to place an obstacle before small businesses that no other tax payer funded entity does.

Printed in OhioMBE – Sept. 1, 2017