Kaepernick pledges $1 million, 'I love America'


Kaepernick pledges $1 million, 'I love America'

SAN DIEGO – Colin Kaepernick promised to donate $1 million to charities that support his call for racial equality in the United States.

On Thursday, Kaepernick and teammate Eric Reid took a knee on the 49ers' sideline during the playing of the national anthem as a protest against police brutality and the oppression of minorities in America.

[MAIOCCO: 49ers' Reid explains decision to join Kaepernick]

“I plan to take it a step further,” Kaepernick said afterward in a packed interview room that included 20 national news reporters.

“I’m currently working with organizations to be involved and making sure I’m actively in these communities, as well as donating the first $1 million I make this season to different organizations to help these communities and help these people.”

Kaepernick said he is still in discussions with multiple organizations. Kaepernick is guaranteed to earn $11.9 million in base salary this season after already collecting a $400,000 offseason workout bonus.

Kaepernick’s spot on the 49ers’ regular-season roster is not assured, though he did not hurt his cause on Thursday. Kaepernick completed 11 of 18 passes for 103 yards. He also rushed for 38 yards on four rushing attempts.

Afterward, Kaepernick, who has experienced a tumultuous year with the 49ers and its management, said he wants to remain with the team that drafted him in 2011.

“This is a phenomenal organization,” Kaepernick said. “I’ve had great conversations here. I’ve had great memories here. This team has given me the opportunity to become the man I am today. I’m grateful for that, I’m thankful for that. And San Francisco has become my home.”

[MAIOCCO: Kaepernick leads 49ers to TD on first drive vs Chargers]

Kaepernick was booed loudly during San Diego’s Salute to Military night at Qualcomm Stadium. Kaepernick reiterated his protest has nothing to do with his feelings toward the military.

“I realize men and women of the military go out and sacrifice their lives and put their selves in harm’s way for my freedom of speech and my freedoms in this country and my freedom to take a seat or take a knee,” Kaepernick said.

In the third quarter, Kaepernick stood at attention during the singing of “God Bless America.” He applauded the performance of Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Powell from the U.S. Navy.

“I’m not anti-America,” Kaepernick said. “I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better. I think having these conversations helps everybody have a better understanding of where everybody is coming from. “

Kaepernick said he hopes that his protest and support of human rights will lead to more dialogue about the subjects.

“That’s something that’s hard for this country to address, what the real issues are and coming to the point that we can admit that these are issues,” Kaepernick said. “Once we admit that, we can deal with it, we can fix them and we can make this country and these communities a better place.”

He said he will probably no longer make the divisive act of taking a seat on the bench during the national anthem.

“I think it will continue to be taking a knee,” he said. “As far as how long this goes, I’m not sure. I want to be able to affect change, and I think there are a lot of other people who want to, as well.”

Eric Reid, Torrey Smith react very differently to 49ers' $1M donation


Eric Reid, Torrey Smith react very differently to 49ers' $1M donation

With protests taking place in numerous cities nationwide, 49ers CEO Jed York announced Saturday night that the team would be making a $1 million donation to local and national organizations seeking social change.

Two former 49ers teammates had different responses to York on Twitter shortly after the announcement was made.

Wide receiver Torrey Smith, who played for the 49ers in 2015 and 2016, praised York for his commitment to fighting injustices.

York even responded to Smith.

But safety Eric Reid, who was drafted by the 49ers in 2013 and played with the team through the 2017 season, was not a fan of York's donation.

Smith and Reid were teammates on the Carolina Panthers during the 2018 season.

Reid and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the charge in 2016 to take a knee during the national anthem to protest social injustices plaguing the United States.

Kaepernick opted out of his contract after being told he would be released, and the 49ers didn't re-sign Reid, who would join the Panthers early in the 2018 season.

Smith defended York's handling of Kaepernick's protest, but Reid wasn't having it.

Smith could only agree with what Reid said.

The protests across the nation are in response to recent deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Louisville at the hands of police.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Jed York donates $1M to local, national organizations for change


49ers' Jed York donates $1M to local, national organizations for change

CEO Jed York announced Saturday night the 49ers will be donating $1 million to local and national organizations committed to social change.

In September 2016, the 49ers made a $1 million donation, matching the commitment of the-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, to two Bay Area charities that address social issues in collaboration with law enforcement.

Along with the organization's latest donation, York also committed support for the Players Coalition, which was co-founded in 2017 by Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins. The coalition’s goal is to make an impact on social justice and racial equality at the federal, state and local levels through advocacy, awareness, education and allocation of resources.

York’s announcement comes as protests take place across the nation. George Floyd, 46, died after being arrested by Minneapolis police on Monday. Video later surfaced that showed an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he told officers he was struggling to breathe.

“People throughout our country are hurting,” York wrote in a statement. “Emotions are raw, and rightfully so. Heinous acts have been committed in recent weeks. Before we are able to realize impactful change, we just first have the courage and compassion as human beings to come together and acknowledge the problem: black men, women, children and other oppressed minorities continue to be systemically discriminated against.

“The 49ers organization is committing to support the legislative priorities of the Players Coalition and to donating $1 million dollars to local and national organizations who are creating change.”

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]