Colin Kaepernick has been sitting or kneeling for the national anthem all season, to protest the lack of racial equality and unfair treatment of minorities by law enforcement.
And on a day when he was asked about the shooting of another unarmed black man by police, the 49ers quarterback casually mentioned that he had gotten death threats since making his stance public.
“I’ve had a few come my way, but not too concerned about it,” Kaepernick said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News.
When asked if they were isolated to social media, Kaepernick said “couple different avenues,” and said he hadn’t reported them to the team.
“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,” he said. “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 referred to Friday’s shooting to Terrence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma as “a perfect example” of the point he’s trying to make.
He’s quickly become a lightning rod for national conversation, and has promised to donate $1 million to support communities. He said Tuesday he’s working on plans for monthly donations of $100,000, and will set up a website to document the distribution of that money for the purpose of accountability. He also talked about the reception he got at his first regular season road game Sunday in Charlotte.
“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 clearly isn’t going to stop addressing it, no matter the cost to him, professionally or otherwise.