Colin Kaepernick didn't change his stance during the San Francisco 49ers' Thursday night game against the San Diego Chargers, even though it was the Chargers’ 28th annual Salute to the Military event. And Kaepernick wasn't alone in his protest; he was joined by teammate Eric Reid.
After a 31-21 win over the Chargers, Kaepernick spoke about the fact that Reid had joined him in the protest, as well as about donating the first $1 million he earns this year to various charities.
"I've been very blessed to be in this position and to be able to make the kind of money I do," Kaepernick said. "And I have to help these people. I have to help these communities. It's not right that they're not put in a position to succeed or given those opportunities to succeed."
"As far as taking a knee tonight, Eric—as well as myself—had a long conversation with Nate Boyer, who is a military vet," Kaepernick said. "And we were talking to him about, 'How can we get the message back on track? And not take away from the military. … But keep the focus on what the issues really are.'
"As we talked about it, we came up with taking a knee, because there are issues that still need to be addressed. And it was also a way to try to show more respect to the men and women that fight for this country. I’m not anti-American,” he added. “I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to try to help make America better.”
Kaepernick also addressed the socks he wore weeks ago that had a pig cartoon dressed as a cop.
“We have cops that are murdering people. We have cops in the SFPD that are blatantly racist, and those issues need to be addressed,” he said.
“I have an uncle, I have friends who are cops, and I have great respect for them,” he said. “The cops that are murdering people and are racist are putting other cops in danger … and that’s an issue that needs to be addressed.”
Even before making his statements at the press conference, Kaepernick posted a similar message to his Instagram account.
Of course, there were boos when Kaepernick played Thursday night, but that's to be expected from those who consider themselves patriotic, even though people in the military are supposedly protecting people's rights, which include the right to protest.