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Some Chicago Bars Not Showing NFL Games to Support Kaepernick

Some bars near Chicago's Soldier Field say they won't show NFL games until Colin Kaepernick is signed, joining many in the city and around the country in showing support for the jobless quarterback. 

Two South Loop bars owned by Kenny Johnson have said they won't televise NFL games in support of the QB without a team.

The Velvet Lounge and the Bureau Bar are both part of the boycott.

"For us to be promoting 'Come into our bar and watch NFL' when all Colin Kaepernick was trying to do was take a stand on something that he believed in, I thought this was a way that I could support him," Johnson said. 

Kaepernick became a hot button issue in the NFL and across much of the country last year with his decision to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Kaepernick said he was spurred by a desire to draw attention to societal issues facing African Americans, including police violence.

Kaepernick was released by the 49ers during the offseason and has yet to sign with another team, leading many to speculate he's being blackballed by the league. 

Not everyone is convinced Kaepernick's social stance is the only reason he's no longer in the NFL. Recently, 49ers great Joe Montana said he believed Kaepernick's sub-par play was another factor keeping him out of the NFL. 

While Kaepernick has said his kneeling would not carry into the upcoming NFL season if he's back in the league, that hasn't stopped him from being vocal on social media. Most recently he tweeted on the Fourth of July that he couldn't celebrate a holiday that "intentionally robbed our ancestors" of their independence.

Johnson said he knows his bars, which are within walking distance of Soldier Field, will take a hit for his stance on the issue, but he's also getting plenty of support.

"The NFL being 70 percent African American they are just not handling it the way they should," Johnson said. "I'm getting a lot of support from people across the country."

Johnson is contemplating what he'll show instead, perhaps movies or music videos, but noted he will begin showing games again if Kaepernick eventually gets picked up. 

The bars are not the only show of support for Kaepernick taking place in Chicago, however. 

Young people with the Black Star Project gathered on the South Side Thursday to take a knee in support of Kaepernick. They also read letters to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

"Colin Kaepernick took a knee because black kids are getting shot by the police," one letter read.

This comes just one day after a large protest outside NFL headquarters in New York.

The protest was staged by those who believe Kaepernick has been sidelined for taking a knee to protest police brutality.

Kaepernick tweeted thanks to those who are supporting him.

"If Colin don’t play football, I will never watch football... let Colin play," one attendee said.

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