Nearly 100 pastors and community leaders plan to hold a “Kneel-In” protest outside Bank of America Stadium before the start of the Carolina Panthers-Philadelphia Eagles NFL football game on Thursday night.
The protest intends to highlight ongoing police brutality and social and racial injustice, just as former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did while the national anthem was played before a 2016 NFL game, Bishop Kevin Long of Temple Church International-Charlotte told the Observer.
“These things have yet to be properly addressed in our judicial system and the like,” Long said.
Members of the new Pastors and Community Leaders Coalition will hold the protest at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Mint Street and Graham Street, according to Long.
In a statement Wednesday night, the coalition said the kneel-in aims to shed light on “police brutality, lack of accountability for officers who’ve killed innocent and/or unarmed citizens, and the high rates of unemployment for minorities.”
“This is a call for accountability,” the coalition said. “Kneeling is merely the method we have chosen, it is not the message in its entirety. The message is that there is a deep and very wide gulf between the Black and Brown communities and others in this country, and we are not compelled to stand that.”
Other kneel-in protests are scheduled in Baltimore and other cities in coming days, according to the coalition.