California NAACP seeks to remove 'The Star-Spangled Banner' as anthem, supports Kaepernick
The California chapter of the NAACP passed resolutions at its state conference last month that push for the removal of The Star-Spangled Banner as the national anthem and aim to help former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sign with another NFL team, as first reported by The Sacramento Bee.
The newspaper reported Tuesday that the group has started circulating copies of the resolutions among legislative offices in California and will seek support from state lawmakers when they return to the capitol in January.
“We owe a lot of it to Kaepernick,” NAACP California chapter president Alice Huffman told the newspaper. “I think all this controversy about the knee will go away once the song is removed.”
Huffman, who could not be reached for comment on Thursday, told a local CBS TV station that The Star-Spangled Banner is “racist” and “anti-black.” She referred to an infrequently-sung third stanza that includes the lyrics, “Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution/No refuge could save the hireling and slave/From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”
According to The Bee, one of the resolutions pushes for a new song to be used as the national anthem, while the other calls for Congress to censure President Donald Trump for his comments about Kaepernick and NFL players who have taken a knee during the anthem.
The second resolution also asks NFL teams to help Kaepernick — a free agent who recently filed a collusion grievance against owners — return to an active roster, according to the newspaper.
NAACP spokesperson Malik Russell told USA TODAY Sports that conferences such as the one in California are gatherings of all of the organization's chapters in a state, which operate semi-autonomously. Resolutions like these can be discussed and introduced at the organization's national convention in July, he said.
Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem last season. He has described the demonstrations not as a protest of the American flag or national anthem but of racial inequality and police brutality in the United States.