Colin Kaepernick has completed the promise he made in September 2016 to donate $1 million to organizations working in oppressed communities. The move comes amid criticism of the #TakeAKnee protests during the 2017 NFL season that was initiated by Kaepernick’s kneeling in 2016 during the National Anthem.
But it turns out there’s more to Kaepernick’s protest than just kneeling. In the past year, the former 49ers quarterback donated a total of $1 million in different amounts to several charities across the country.
Kaepernick also supported “10 for 10,” a campaign partnering celebrities and other athletes, where he asked his partners to donate $10,000 to a charity of their choice, and matched their donation with an additional $10,000. The final $20,000 went to H.O.M.E. (Helping Oppressed Mothers Endure) in Lithonia, GA, an organization that helps single mothers, chosen by Usher.
“This was an opportunity to do something major and you did it,” Usher said in a video released on Kaepernick’s Twitter Wednesday. “You have raised a million dollars; I’m happy to be part of the completion of that million dollars.”
I am happy to announce I have completed my #MillionDollarPledge. For the final #10for10 joining me is my brother @usher! He is donating $10k to match my $10k for $20k for H.O.M.E from Lithonia, GA. Head to https://t.co/aK6dK9NZZA for a complete list of my Million Dollar Pledge! pic.twitter.com/WiSAJePPcB
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) January 31, 2018
When Kaepernick began his protest, he said at a press conference that he wanted to”be able to affect change and I think there are a lot of other people who do as well,” and said he would donate the million dollars and the proceeds of his jersey sales from the 2016 season.
He refused to stand during the Anthem because he could not “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” In December, he was honored by the ACLU for his protests. In his acceptance speech, he called for the end of systemic oppression.
“We all have an obligation, no matter the risk, regardless of reward,” he said.
Kevin Durant, Jesse Williams, Steph Curry, Snoop Dogg, Serena Williams, T.I., Jhene Aiko and Chris Brown, Nick Cannon and Joey Badass, Meek Mill and Usher contributed to the campaign.
Other donations included $25,000 to the I Will Not Die Young Campaign in Milwaukee; Mothers Against Police Brutality in Dallas; Center for Reproductive Rights in New York City; and Black Veterans for Social Justice in Brooklyn, New York; and $50,000 to Somalia Famine Relief and Life After Hate in Chicago. You can see where he donated the rest here.
Kaepernick hasn’t played for the NFL since he became a free agent in March 2017. In October, he filed a grievance with the NFL accusing the league of collusion.