Rishard Matthews is putting his money where his knee is.
The Titans wide receiver — who grew up in a military family and said he’d continue to knee during the national anthem until President Donald Trump apologized to players — said that he was donating $75,000 to a group of “organizations working in oppressed communities.”
“Moving forward, I don’t want this to be a publicity stunt,” Matthews said, via Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com. “I don’t want to take away from what the whole protest is about, which is oppression, police brutality and inequality in this country. I fully stand with my brother Kaep [unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick], and I plan to continue to do that.”
Matthews was a college teammate of Kaepernick’s, but his ideas were also framed by his family. His father served for 23 years, and his brother Christopher Ruiz was a Marine who died two years again in Afghanistan.
And while some have problems equating the two, Matthews said players can still be pro-military and socially aware.
“I’ve actually had a lot of military people reach out to me to say, ‘Good job for standing up for your rights and people who don’t have a voice,’ and that they support me whether I decide to stand or kneel,” Matthews said. “People keep using the military as a distraction. It’s not anything about the military. It’s about social injustice.”
And for all the people who wonder what players are doing with the attention they’re drawing, Matthews just provided a good example.