Supporters from all arenas of entertainment, politics, and sports continue to stand behind Colin Kaepernick and his protest against the mistreatment of people of color in this country.
Kaepernick is not the first athlete to sit out the National Anthem or speak out on racial injustice, but his protest stands out because of his prominence and his willingness to take a risk.
Athletes are sometimes discouraged from taking a stand due to legal matters that involve their livelihood like contracts and endorsements, but on Thursday, San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York released a statement saying the organization will donate $1 million to philanthropic causes dedicated to fostering relationships between the community and law enforcement.
“We are partnering with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation in this effort. We have chosen to work with these two organizations because they have proven track records of effecting change in the face of challenging problems and have the collective reach to make the greatest impact,” the statement reads.
Cornell Brooks, president of the NAACP, lent his commentary, saying Kaepernick’s actions can be likened to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
“It’s a lofty name, but it’s not a stretch,” Brooks said to USA Today. “We’ll let history be the judge, how consequential Kaepernick’s action is.’’
Brooks said his organization has reached out to Kaepernick in hopes of forging a path together in the fight for justice.
Another Bay Area star came out in support of Kaepernick on Wednesday: two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry. During a segment on CNBC, Curry voiced his solidarity: “I love that there’s freedom of speech and he can stand for what he believes in.” Curry also said he hoped the messaging would stay focused; the protest is about gaining equality for people of color in America.
Kaepernick’s former college teammate, Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall, took a knee during Thursday night’s season opener game against the Carolina Panthers.
Rapper J. Cole and R&B singer Trey Songz are just two musicians who support Kaepernick. Both performers wore the quarterback’s number seven jersey to concerts over the past week.
Kaepernick’s jersey is now officially the number one selling jersey in the NFL. He announced Wednesday that proceeds from the sales would go towards community relations.