Kaepernick has started a firestorm recently for his decision to sit or take a knee during The Star-Spangled Banner because he doesn’t agree with everything the flag stands for.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback isn’t stopping with a silent protest. On Thursday, after taking a knee during the national anthem before his team’s game against the Chargers, he announced he would donate the first $1 million he makes this season to organizations helping communities in need.
“I am planning to take it a step further, I’m currently working with organizations to be involved, and making sure I’m actively in these communities, as well as donating the first million dollars I make this year to different organizations to help these communities and help these people.
“I’ve been very blessed to be in this position and to be able to make the kind of money I do,” Kaepernick said. “And I have to help these people. I have to help these communities. It’s not right that they’re not put in a position to succeed or given those opportunities to succeed.”
“As far as taking a knee tonight, Eric [Reid] — as well as myself — had a long conversation with Nate Boyer, who is a military vet,” Kaepernick said. “And we were talking to him about, ‘How can we get the message back on track? And not take away from the military. … But keep the focus on what the issues really are.’
“As we talked about it, we came up with taking a knee, because there are issues that still need to be addressed. And it was also a way to try to show more respect to the men and women that fight for this country.”
Part of the reason why Kaepernick chose to kneel regards the talk he mentioned he had with former Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad member, Texas Longhorn and Army veteran Nate Boyer.
Thanks for the invite brother… Good talk. Let's just keep moving forward. This is what America should be all about pic.twitter.com/LgjPpjk173
— Nate Boyer (@NateBoyer37) September 2, 2016
Boyer even went as far as writing an open letter to Kaepernick about why he’s both agreed and disagreed with the quarterback’s protest.
Circling back to the donation: When Kaepernick first talked about his protest, he said he would keep protesting the National Anthem until he sees meaningful change. After his announcement to donate money to organizations that can help create change, it’s clear that Kaepernick won’t be waiting for others to do the work.
Let’s see if Colin Kaepernick’s act of kindness gets picked up by the media and talked about by football fans as much as his protest.