This article by Tyler Tynes and Harry Kyles, Jr. is one of several news reports on an act that was both classy and the embodiment of going above and beyond to make a difference. Kevin Livingston, founder of the New York based non-profit 100 Suits for 100 Men, which assists former prisoners in their employment searches by providing them business attire, organized rallies throughout the country in support of Colin Kaepernick. This included a rally outside the National Football League’s headquarters in New York City. Earlier this month, Kaepernick had donated several custom-made suits to Livingston’s organization.
There have been no other reports of the many organizations to which Kaepernick has donated conducting a similar initiative in public support of him. While this is of course not obligatory, that 100 Suits decided to respond to Kaepernick’s largesse with a public gesture of support at a time when Kaepernick is being shamefully blackballed and denied employment in the NFL, the classic white American response of abuse of power and spitefulness in the face of Blacks’ challenge to racism, is worth highlighting and celebrating.
It is interesting that Livingston was adamant that the rallies were not labeled protests, though frankly, that is precisely what they were. A protest is defined as “a usually organized public demonstration of disapproval.” Livingston and his fellow rally attendees, aka protesters, justifiably disapprove of the manner in which Kaepernick has been treated by the NFL as a direct result of Kaepernick’s national anthem protests against racism throughout the 2016 season. It is not possible to appease those opposed to Kaepernick. These people believe that the very act of not prostrating oneself before the altar of American exceptionalism, particularly as a Black person, is unacceptable. Thus, despite Livingston’s attempts not to inflame by not referring to the rallies as protests, he still received death threats. 100 Suits’ gesture was an excellent way to say thank you indeed. Well done Mr. Livingston.