While Colin Kaepernick says he’s seen positives emerge from a racial-equality movement sparked by his national-anthem protests, he’s also received death threats as a result.
“I’ve had a few come my way, but not too concerned about it,” Kaepernick said Tuesday inside the 49ers locker room.
Asked if those threats have come only through his social-media channels, Kaepernick responded: “Couple different avenues.”
Kaepernick said he does not alert team security in the wake of such threats, because, “to me, if something like that were to happen, you’ve proved my point and it will be loud and clear for everyone why it happened, and that would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now.
“Granted, it’s not how I want it to happen, but that’s the realization of what could happen. I knew there were other things that came along with this when I first stood up and spoke about it. It’s not something I haven’t thought about.”
Kaepernick condemned Friday night’s fatal shooting of an unarmed Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by a police officer. “This is a perfect example of what this is about,” Kaepernick said. “It will be very telling about what happens to the officer that killed him.”
One aspect Kaepernick is taking upon himself is following through on a $1 million pledge to support communities, and he said Tuesday he plans to award $100,000 monthly over the next 10 months to programs he’s currently reviewing, with those distributions posted on a website he’s currently building. The goal is to demonstrate full transparency throughout the process.
“You’ll be able to track it so everyone can see exactly what organizations the money is going to, and making sure that we get an itemized list from these organizations as to what they’re spending the money on to make sure that I’m not only transparent with what I’m doing, but these organizations are transparent about where this money is going as well,” he said.
At the 49ers’ game Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina, Kaepernick received verbal and visible taunts from fans before and at halftime as he left the field in the 49ers’ eventual 47-26 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
“It’s something they either don’t care about it or they don’t understand it, which I find it very hard that people don’t understand what’s going on,” Kaepernick said. “I think the message has been out there loud and clear for quite some time now.
“There’s a lot of racism disguised as patriotism in this country and people don’t like to address that and they don’t like to address what the root of this protest is. You have players across this country, not only in the NFL but soccer and NBA and high school players, they don’t like to address this issue that people of color are oppressed and treated unjustly. I don’t know why that is or what they’re scared of, but it needs to be addressed.”
Kaepernick said he received positive support while in Charlotte as well, however, and was heartened and encouraged that a white NFL player, New England Patriots’ defensive lineman Chris Long, had come forward to speak about the issue and support his cause. The quarterback said he recently had a brief conversation with Long.
“What’s funny to me I saw Chris Long spoke out about it, but no one wants to talk about what he said and him bringing that to the forefront and speaking out against it, because that’s where it gets very touchy,” he said. “Because a white player standing up for this, it’s like OK, `Well, now we really have to address this because it’s not just black people speaking out because they feel like they’re being attacked. No, it’s a real issue, and it’s disproportionately an issue to people of color.’ I think it was huge that Chris stood up and took that stand.”
Kaepernick was harsh in his assessment of the Crutcher killing.
“It’s very interesting to me how the situation that happened (Friday), they shot and killed a man and walked around like he wasn’t a human being,” he said. “People are getting killed and not being treated as human beings. No one went and checked on him, no one tried to resuscitate him, nothing. They walked around, went about their business and made up lies to cover up their murder that they just committed. That’s not right, and they should be in prison.”
Kaepernick said the awareness he has trying to engender the past several weeks has grown beyond him and that he’s starting to feel momentum for the movement.
“I think other people picking up on the protest and speaking out about it from high school kids to activists to pro athletes, I think is huge,” he said. “I think as the conversations continue in these communities, more and more solutions are going to come up as to how to fix this as quickly as possible. That’s ultimately the goal.”
Source: Mercury News | CAM INMAN | firstname.lastname@example.org