Players talk about joining 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in racial injustice protest
The 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick plans to donate $100,000 a month for 10 months and will set up a website that allows the public to track how the money is spent.
“So everyone will be able to see exactly what organizations the money’s going to, and also making sure we get an itemized list from the organizations of what they’re spending the money on,” Kaepernick said Tuesday. “To make sure not only that I’m transparent in what I’m doing but that these organizations are transparent with where the money is going as well.”
Each of the organizations will address social issues and racial inequality, matters Kaepernick has spotlighted by refusing to stand for the national anthem before the 49ers’ last six games. Five teammates also protested – four by raising their right fists – during Sunday’s anthem in Charlotte, N.C., as have players on other NFL teams and in other sports.
Kaepernick has spoken out against police brutality and police shootings. On Tuesday, he condemned a recent incident in Tulsa, Okla., in which police shot and killed a black man, Terence Crutcher, 40, who can be seen in a video raising his hands as officers approach him. Kaepernick has criticized police departments for placing their officers on paid leave after similar incidents. He pointed out police did not render aid to Crutcher for nearly a minute.
“They shot and killed a man and walked around like it wasn’t a human being,” Kaepernick said. “… That’s not right. And they should be in prison for that.”
Tulsa police and the Justice Department are investigating the shooting.
Kaepernick’s protest has been national news since it became public Aug. 26 and even has been a talking point during the presidential race. The quarterback said he’s received death threats from “a couple of different avenues,” including social media. He was heckled during Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.
“There’s a lot of racism disguised as patriotism in this country,” Kaepernick said. “People don’t like to address that, and they don’t like to address what the root of this protest is.”
Kaepernick has received support mainly from black players but also from women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe and New England Patriots pass rusher Chris Long, who are white. Kaepernick said he’s contacted both and had a good conversation with Long, who said last week on ESPN radio he supports Kaepernick.
Said Long: “I play in a league that’s 70 percent black and my peers, guys I come to work with, guys I respect who are very socially aware and are intellectual guys, if they identify something that they think is worth putting their reputations on the line, creating controversy, I’m going to listen to those guys.”
Kaepernick said Long’s stance was “huge” because he has a prominent voice in the league and because it shows the desire for change isn’t limited to the black community.
“I don’t know if he realizes how much that means to this movement and trying to get things changed,” Kaepernick said. “… Ultimately he made a decision that he wanted to talk about it. Because he’s played with players whose families go through and experience this. And players who have dealt with it themselves.”
Kaepernick said he did not want to put a date on when his website will be ready and wasn’t sure if the site would permit public donations, though he is considering that possibility.
“Those are some of the things we’re maneuvering through right now,” he said.
Kaepernick also has pledged to donate all earnings he receives from his jersey sales, which have been brisk since his protest became public. Player agents have said a player with a top-selling jersey could make as much as $500,000.