Kaepernick petition calling for NFL boycott is gaining steam, has 130K supporters

Thousands of football fans around the country are threatening to boycott the NFL this season if Colin Kaepernick doesn't end up signing with a team. 

The fans are voicing their displeasure with the league through a petition on Change.org. The petition calls for fans to boycott the NFL if "Colin Kaepernick doesn't play this season."

From the petition: 

"We understand the NFL is very important to you. We also understand the purpose of Colin Kaepernick's protest is FAR more important than any games you will ever watch. Simply put, if things stay the same for the way America -- where 'all men are created equal' -- treats people of color, then your loved ones, friends, and children will eventually be affected as well."

The petition has been up for nearly two weeks now and has already garnered more than 130,000 signatures. That's 130,000 people who have promised not to "watch any games" or "buy any merchandise."

"If you are appalled by [Kaepernick not signing], then show your power by boycotting the NFL until Kaepernick gets signed to a team," the petition states. "This means to not watch any games, no social media comments about your favorite team before/during/after the games, don't attend the stadiums, and don't buy any merchandise which represents the league or your favorite team.

Kaepernick spent the 2016 season kneeling for the national anthem as a way to protest police brutality and racial injustice, and since becoming a free agent, he hasn't been able to find a team that will hire him. 

The quarterback opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers on March 1, and has only taken one official visit during his three months of free agency (with the Seawhawks). In that same period, several quarterbacks have signed free agent contracts, including Mark Sanchez , Josh McCown , Brian Hoyer , Matt Barkley , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Blaine Gabbert and Case Keenum

Although Kaepernick was reportedly in contact with the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins after Joe Flacco (back) and Ryan Tannehill (knee) went down, neither team brought him in for a workout. Despite the fact that teams have been passing over Kaepernick for lesser quarterbacks, Roger Goodell has insisted that Kaepernick's not being blackballed. Even if he's not technically being blackballed, several owners have admitted that they're taking the opinion of their fans into account when it comes to Kaepernick. 

Earlier this offseason, New York Giants co-owner John Mara said hundreds of fans threatened to boycott the team if the Giants signed Kaepernick. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said he would have to talk to fans and sponsors before possibly signing Kaepernick. 

Kaepernick's situation has been a black eye for the NFL, and it's something that seems to be coming more of an issue as we inch closer to the start of the regular season. 

Besides the Change.org petition, Kaepernick has also received support from Spike Lee. 

The director announced this week that he would he holding a rally in Kaepernick's honor at NFL headquarters on Wednesday. 

(I think he wants you to ignore the fact that he spelled Kaepernick's last name wrong)

Although many people, including Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett , are saying that Kaepernick is being blackballed by NFL teams, there is at least one other theory: Maybe he's not as good as he used to be.  Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Matheiu has played in the same division with Kaepernick over the past four seasons, and he seems to think that Kap has regressed

"I've had the chance to play against Kaepernick the last four seasons," Mathieu said on PFT Live this week. "The first couple years he was a winning quarterback. He did a lot of good things for his team. The last couple years, obviously, it felt like he took a step back as far as game-planning against him," Mathieu said.

Although Mathieu doesn't think Kaepernick is as good as he once was, the Cardinals star still has a lot of respect for the former 49ers quarterback. 

"I'm rooting for him and I hope somebody gives him a call, somebody gives him a shot," Mathieu said. "He's a hell of an athlete. He definitely can play quarterback in this league and if he plays in the right system I'm pretty sure he can take any team to the Super Bowl."

Right now, Kaepernick's running out of options. If a team hasn't brought him in yet, there's a good chance they don't plan to bring him in. Ideally, you want to bring in a quarterback before training camp so they can learn your system. 

The fact that Kaepernick's not on a roster right now means that he likely won't be playing in 2017 unless a quarterback goes down with an injury or unless Goodell were to step in and encourage a team to sign him.  

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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