Colin Kaepernick’s actions the past few weeks have stirred up a lot of anger all over the country, but I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to fault him for this one:
Kaepernick announced after Thursday’s preseason game against the Chargers that he intends to donate the first $1 million dollars he makes this season to various community outreach programs.
The move should get his ‘message’ back on track. But how did it get so twisted in the first place?
Colin started a firestorm over a week ago when he was spotted sitting on the bench during the Star Spangled Banner. In fact, he’d done this at every preseason game, but the act only went viral when people started asking questions.
Kaepernick responded that he didn’t intend to stand for the national anthem until he saw significant change in America, particularly in regard to race relations. He’s since clarified that to mean racial injustice, minority oppression, and police brutality.
But the manner in which he’s drawing attention to these issues has been the cause of a national debate, with many feeling he’s being insensitive and disrespectful, particularly to members of the military. Of course this ‘debate’ is exactly what Kaepernick was trying to kick into gear, but the negativity has drawn away from the original message.
Before the same Chargers game, Kaepernick spoke to a member of the military about just that. “[I] had a long conversation with Nate Boyer, who is a military vet. And we were talking to him about, 'How can we get the message back on track? And not take away from the military... But keep the focus on what the issues really are."
"As we talked about it, we came up with taking a knee, because there are issues that still need to be addressed. And it was also a way to try to show more respect to the men and women that fight for this country."
The kneeling strategy still drew incredibly loud boos from the crowd -- the game was in San Diego, a major military town, and it happened to be 'Military Appreciation Night'.
It was only afterwards that Kaepernick announced the donation. Which is the textbook definition of putting your money where your mouth is.