The players union recognized another player who’s doing more than his share to help people off the field.
And the fact he’s not on the field allows them to get a not-so-subtle dig in at the owners who won’t let Colin Kaepernick onto a field.
The NFLPA announced that the former 49ers quarterback was named their Week One Community MVP, “for his commitment to empowering underserved communities through donations and grassroots outreach.”
The day of last week’s opener, Kaepernick announced his latest round of $100,000 donations (as part of his pledge to give $1 million to a variety of charities). He gave $25,000 each to DREAM, a New York group which provides after-school programs and youth sports opportunities to inner-city youth; Coalition for the Homeless; The Gathering for Justice’s War on Children, a new program that will launch in 2018 to continue the fight against child incarceration; and United We Dream, which addresses the inequities and obstacles faced by immigrant youth. Then on Sept. 9, he held a backpack giveaway at the Lower Eastside Girls Club of New York.
The union is making a $10,000 donation to Kaepernick’s charity along with the award. They point out in their released that to be eligible for the award, a player must be a dues-paying union member, and “either on a current NFL roster or actively seeking employment as a free agent.”
The union gave the award for “Week Zero” to J.J. Watt, who raised millions of dollars for Hurricane Harvey relief.
Kaepernick has time to do all these wonderful things because he’s not busy working at the moment, even as teams are displacing starters who spent entire offseasons preparing, and handing their teams over to recently acquired backups who aren’t like-for-like system fits.