Continuing his decision to not stand during the national anthem in protest of police racism, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick announced yesterday (September 1) that he would donate $1 million to charities supporting racial equality.
“I’ve been very blessed to be in this position and to be able to make the kind of money I do,” said Kaepernick after the 49ers beat the San Diego Chargers 31-21. “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.”
Kap explained that he took a knee with teammate Eric Reid during the national anthem, instead of sitting out, after speaking with military vet Nate Boyer:
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.
Much of the criticism over Kap’s protest said that he was disrespecting servicepeople and their families—something he said was overblown by the press. “The media painted this as anti-American, anti-men-and-women of the military, and that’s not the case at all,” he said.
Kap received even more criticism over recently-circulated photos of him wearing socks with pigs in police hats during training camp. “I think the league is in a downward spiral regarding their obligations to the public under [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell,” said Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations to USA Today. ”This is just another example of that.
Despite that criticism (or maybe because of it), Kap’s supporters praised his stances and newly prominent afro on social media with the hashtag #kapsoblack:
TED WINN (@officialtedwinn) September 2, 2016
#KapSoBlack That white people are making every possible excuse to talk about EVERYTHING but his Message of black racism & Oppression in USA— MIKE DENIRO (@MIKEDENIR0) September 2, 2016
The hashtag seemed to rebuke allegations that Kaepernick, who was raised by White parents after his White birthmother put him up for adoption, is not Black.