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Why this Black entrepreneur isn’t boycotting the NFL

While he empathizes with those protesting police brutality, FanCheer Interactive founder Greg Sampson says sports is “one of the best places for reasonable people to have a dialogue.”

Eagles football. (Photo by Flickr user Keith Allison, used under a Creative Commons license)

While the NFL is facing backlash from some Black activists (oh, and Vice President Mike Pence) in the wake of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest and ensuing dismissal, one Philly entrepreneur of color still tunes into the games.

Greg Sampson, founder of sports entertainment startup FanCheer Interactive, acknowledges the reasons behind the boycott but sees sports as a place where fans can come together and set aside their differences.

“As a Black founder I can empathize with those that are protesting the use of undue violence,” said Sampson, who splits his time between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. “Taking offense at someone for taking a knee, that’s not part of American values. But we also think sports are one of the best places for reasonable people to have a dialogue.”

The company offers a mobile app for televised sports events that lets fans “compete to demonstrate passion for their favorite teams.” It’s a team of seven that includes Sampson, CTO John Davis and CMO Rohan Brown.

Sampson’s startup held an Eagles watch party last week at the Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons attended by local politicians. They’re also hosting a Philadelphia 76ers Watch Party alongside Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Independence Region tonight in Conshohocken.

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