Colin Kaepernick has become one of the most talked about football players in the sport despite not being signed to a team.
It all started during the preseason last year, when Kaepernick sat down during the national anthem.
When asked about his protest, Kaepernick was frank about his views about race in America. He told reporters,
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
He knew then what kind of statement he was making. This is the NFL, a league with a largely white, suburban fan base. Not exactly a group of people that understand or acknowledge the issue of racial disparity in America.
Kaepernick said at the time that he was ready to risk it all to make his statement,
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed… If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
They have taken football away from Kaepernick. He’s currently unsigned despite the fact that even last year he was a well-above average quarterback.
But away from football, Kaepernick is making an impact.
He started the Know Your Rights Camp, set up to empower and inform young people of color. The goal of Know Your Rights Camp is, in their own words:
“To help build a stronger generation of people that will create the change that is much needed in this world.”
Kaep also started his own million dollar pledge, in which he donates all his jersey sales from last season (he was the highest-selling jersey in the league at one point) towards organizations in oppressed communities.
The final goal is to donate $100k a month for 10 months and you can track his payments on his website.
For all the criticism and hate Kaepernick has received since he took his stand, he has taken it upon himself to stand up to injustices, regardless of the consequences.
Now NFL players across the league are joining his protest.
Somebody give this dude a damn job.