Atlanta-based rapper T.I. has launched a boycott of the NFL over the league’s rule putting an end to player protests during the national anthem.
The rapper, whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr., claimed that he made a “conscious effort” to cease patronizing the NFL because of the anthem protest rule.
“I think there’s a violation of constitutional rights being implemented to minority players who choose to have a peaceful silent protest,” he said on the BET Experience on Sunday. “It’s really like you want us to shut up and take what we got coming to us in our communities, and that’s just not acceptable. And if that’s what you think about us, why should we really spend our money and show our extreme support of your corporation?”
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 24, 2018
Also known as Tip, the rapper went on to say that if the NFL won’t support its players, he won’t support the NFL and he urged others to join him in his protest.
“We got to go to the corporations,” the rapper insisted, “stop spending our dollars with them until they press the politicians who press the police to do what we need to do until they respect our lives and consider us as equals or else they don’t deserve our dollars.”
In May the league implemented a new rule maintaining that players who take to the sidelines during the anthem must stand or their teams could face fines. But the rule also allows players who wish to protest to stay in the locker room during the tune.
While the NFL hoped that the rule would end the protests, almost immediately the players’ union began filing challenges to the rule.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.