Colin Kaepernick’s allegiance to his activism runs deep as evidenced by his ‘Know Your Rights’ campaign which was started after a Black man was shot and killed by San Francisco cops in 2015.
The Mario Woods killing at the hands of police was the catalyst that catapulted the former quarterback turned activist into action, the Super Bowl quarterback recently shared in magazine cover story.
Kaepernick opened up to Paper Magazine about how the tragic case affected him after 26-year-old Woods was shot 21 times by five San Francisco Police officers Dec. 2, 2015. Six of those shots landing in his back.
Kaepernick told the outlet he was left with feelings of anger and despair.
And ten months before he even took a knee, Kaepernick decided to start the Know Your Rights Camp, a traveling youth-empowerment initiative.
Kaepernick’s organization was powered by the tenets of activists Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party. Seale and Newton wrote, “Black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny” and demanded an “education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society” and urged “an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of Black people.”
“That was over 50 years ago. And what has changed?” Colin Kaepernick asked in the interview. “Oscar Grant, Rekia Boyd, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice. What has changed? Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray. The Panthers’ demands are still alive today because the police are still killing us today.”
The camp serves Black youth 12-18 in a safe environment and teaches them what they should know in the areas of health, finance, education and tech, but also gives them knowledge to wield when dealing with police encounters.
Kaepernick responds to Jay-Z’s NFL partnership
It seems that Jay-Z has created 99 more problems for himself and Colin Kaepernick may just be one of them.
This week the rapper has been knee-deep in controversy after he announced a partnership with the NFL to co-produce the Super Bowl Halftime Show and rumors are now swirling that he will potentially have an ownership stake in an NFL team.
Many took to social media to criticize Jay and find it problematic that he would possibly undermine the quarterback and all that he’s laid on the line to raise awareness about police brutality by not including him in any conversations with the NFL.
Jay has taken on a barrage of criticism from everyone from Kaepernick’s girlfriend and television host Nessa Diab to sports journalist Jemele Hill.
And now Kaepernick has broken his silence and could be taking a jab at Jay’s comment that the NFL has “moved past kneeling,” Deadline reports.
Kaepernick urged his supporters on Instagram to “stay strong” and “continue to fight.”
“My Brothers @E_Reid35 @KSTiLLS @iThinkIsee12 continue to fight for the people, even in the face of death threats,” Kaepernick wrote. “They have never moved past the people and continue to put their beliefs into action. Stay strong Brothers!!!”
Last week, Kaepernick’s friend and former teammate Eric Reid, who announced earlier this year that his on-field protests would continue, slammed Jay-Z for partnering with NFL saying, “It looks like your goal was to make millions by assisting the NFL in burying Colin’s career.”