News of Colin Kaepernick's decision to stay seated during the national anthem at an NFL preseason game in protest of police brutality and racial injustice has dominated headlines this week, with some supporting the San Francisco 49ers quarterback while others question his patriotism.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media last week. "There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
Now, the 28-year-old has taken his peaceful protest one step further and announced on Thursday that he will donate the first $1 million he makes this year to organizations throughout the United States fighting racial injustice and police brutality. According to Kaepernick, this is his way of showing that his protest is also about taking action.
"I've been very blessed to be in this position and be able to make the kind of money I do," Kaepernick told reporters. "I have to help these communities. It's not right that they're not put in the position to succeed or given those opportunities to succeed."
It should be noted that Kaepernick has also modified his protest and is now kneeling during the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner rather than sitting. He told reporters he decided to kneel following a discussion with fellow football player and former Green Beret Nate Boyer over how to refocus his demonstration.
"I realize that men and women of the military go out and sacrifice their lives and put their selves in harm's way for my freedom of speech," he said. "I have the utmost respect for them. I think what I did was taken out of context and spun a different way."