Colin Kaepernick: GQ’s Man On A Mission
One moment he was a football player. The next moment he grew into an activist.
Free-agent NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick probably never realized that last year’s protest of the national anthem would blossom into a national story. But what he did know was that he had to do something.
In 2016, Kaepernick gained nationwide attention when he began protesting what he viewed as the oppression of people of color in the United States by not standing while the United States national anthem was being played before the start of games. His actions prompted a wide variety of responses mostly focused on a national scale but on an international scale as well, examples of sports players, teams, and leagues taking part in Kaepernick’s movement include additional athletes in the NFL, and other American sports leagues.
“The country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all, and right now, it’s not happening for all,” Kaepernick said in his initial interview after the first time kneeling. “This stand wasn’t for me. This is because I’m seeing things that are happening to people that don’t have a voice. And I’m in a position to do that and I’m in a position to affect change.”
Fans, NFL team owners and others began spewing their opinions, many of which said that social justice and being a great football player should never meet. But Kaepernick pressed on.
Especially with all of the media surrounding the silent protest, the message seems to have gotten lost. But if you were to read on his website, Colin’s mission is simple: “To fight oppression of all kinds, through education and social activism.” Period.
And he’s putting his money where his mouth is by starting and standing by his Million Dollar Pledge.
“I will donate one million dollars plus all the proceeds of my jersey sales from the 2016 season to organizations working in oppressed communities, 100k a month for 10 months,” Kaepernick states. You can see month after month detailed descriptions of what Kaepernick has donated for on his website, here.
Kaepernick also started his Know Your Rights Camps: full-day youth seminars that Kaepernick organizes, funds, and emcees. Already completed in New York City, Bay Area California, Chicago, with more cities to come, these are not open events for sports fans, or the press. Their aim is to speak directly to black, brown, and economically disadvantaged youth, invited through local community organizations, about history, nutrition, legal rights, and financial literacy.
“Every city has grassroots resources. Our goal is to raise awareness about those resources and help young people access them to empower themselves and the people around them. We want to give you the tools to uplift yourselves and uplift your communities. It’s going to be you who is going to change your communities,” Kaepernick tells the campers.
Kaepernick is currently featured on the cover of GQ magazine and named their “Citizen of the Year.”
So what’s next for Colin? Well, we look back at his past to see where he wants to go.
In college, he was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Offensive Player of the Year twice and became the only…