He intends to fight global oppression through education and social activism.
It seems as though the saying ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ has never been truer than when it comes to the former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s journey, since his last NFL game on New Year’s day. After being the first NFL player to take a knee in protest of the national anthem in August 2016, Kaepernick has found himself left off an NFL roster at just 29 years-old. When asked if he still wanted to play football Kaepernick responded with, “Yes. I’ve never stopped. I’m ready right now. Working out daily.” Although it seems NFL teams are dodging his services this season.
Since Kaepernick’s departure from the San Francisco 49ers, they have come out victorious once in 10 attempts. Adding insult to injury, on Sep. 21, ESPN’s sports business writer Darren Rovell stated:
“The best selling 49ers player in merchandise from March thru May was Colin Kaepernick, who was no longer on the team,” mentioned by The Root.
Kaepernick’s protests have seen its effect nearly every week during 2017. As an ongoing storyline, players, teams and even owners have participated in protesting the national anthem. Sparked from a series of tweets from President Trump, the #TakeAKnee protest has spread from off the field into social media and political circles, making it a national conversation.
Even with the uncertainties of his playing days, Kaepernick has begun a new chapter in his life. He intends to fight global oppression through education and social activism. In October 2016, Kaepernick and his foundation began its mission to donate one million dollars plus all the proceeds of [Kaepernick’s] jersey sales from the 2016 season to organizations working in oppressed communities, $100,000 a month for 10 months, according to Kaepernick7.com.
The Colin Kaepernick Foundation has given $5,000 or more to causes ranging from healing to planning retreats for Californian families who lost their loved ones at the hands of law enforcement, according to Kaepernick7.com. The foundation also has collaborated with five-time Grammy nominee J. Cole’s charity, The Dreamville Foundation, to help urban youth in North Carolina. As of Sep. 7, Kaepernick has stated via Instagram that the foundation reached $900,000 in donations but as he closes on his one-million-dollar goal, all signs point toward his community involvement is far from over.
Today, Veteran’s Day, I wanted to pay homage and acknowledge our forgotten heroes. Earlier this year as part of my Million Dollar Pledge, I donated to the organization Black Veterans for Social Justice. The donation was used to assist veterans with job placement and housing. It’s amazing to see the courage and dedication of the veterans that fought for this country, only to come home to continue fighting for their rights. In 1770, Crispus Attucks, a Black man, became the first casualty of the American Revolution. He died for a country that would later legally enslave, torture, and kill millions of Black children, women, and men. While the South was fighting to persevere the perverse institution of Slavery, and Lincoln was fighting to save the Union during the Civil War, Black people were fighting for their human right to be free. By the end of the Civil War, roughly 179,000 black men (10% of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 served in the Navy. Nearly 40,000 black soldiers died over the course of the war. These soldiers need to be honored and never forgotten.
On Veteran’s Day, the 29-year-old wanted to pay his respect to the military by remembering his experience donating to the Black Veterans for Social Justice, Inc. Kaepernick went on to say via Instagram, “It’s amazing to see the courage and dedication of the veterans that fought for this country, only to come home to continue fighting for their rights” as he toured the African-American Civil War Museum in the attached video.
Furthermore, Kaepernick is planned to come to a bookstore near you as he recently inked a seven-figure book deal with Random House Publishing on Oct. 24, according to Sports Illustrated. All in all, Kaepernick has seemed to turn a situation that separated him from his career of choice but it allowed the 29-year-old to become a social change agent in the matter of a few months, opting to use his time to help those in need.
Written By: Myles Watkins