Back when he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers — and protesting by kneeling during the National Anthem — Colin Kaepernick said he would donate $1 million plus all the proceeds of his jersey sales from the 2016 season to organizations working in oppressed communities.
The final push started this week for the remaining $100,000. Beginning Wed., Jan.17, the ex-49ers quarterback said he will give $10,000 a day for the next 10 days to an organization of his choice, and one celebrity will match that donation.
The Colin Kaepernick Foundation announced the first $10,000 will go to Silicon Valley De-Bug, a community-organizing, advocacy and multimedia storytelling organization in San Jose, California.
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant has made a matching $10,000 donation.
“KD, thank you so much, brother, for continuing to uplift and empower our communities,” Kaepernick said in a video posted to his Twitter account. “We love and appreciate you.”
Kaepernick became a lightning rod in 2016 when he refused to stand during the National Anthem, protesting what he believes are racial injustices and ongoing police brutality in the United States. He drew fierce criticism from some by kneeling but also inspired other athletes — from elementary schools to professional leagues — to join his movement.
In March, Kaepernick opted out of his 49ers contract and became a free agent. No NFL team signed him. Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL in October, accusing it of collusion.
“With or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people,” Kaepernick said in December when accepting the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. “Because my platform is the people.”
Kaepernick has kept a list on his website of the recipients of his donations and how the money has been earmarked. A large portion of the donations have gone to grass-roots groups, including veterans, the homeless, students, immigrants, single mothers, families affected by violent crime, those fighting for reproductive rights and those impacted by incarceration.
Kaepernick’s money has been distributed all over the country, including to groups in New York, Phoenix, Chicago, Dallas, Baltimore, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Milwaukee as well as organizations in smaller communities such as Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Lithonia, Georgia.
Another donation, according to Kaepernick’s website, was $50,000 for a plane to deliver food and water to famine areas of Somalia.