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From Kneeling to Sending Aid to Somalia: Colin Kaepernick’s Activism

Pricilla Perez, Writer

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On August 24, a photo emerged of the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem. The video sparked outrage among many Americans, and others quickly joined him. Players across the league either stood with their hands raised in a fist or knelt on the turf during the national anthem. What was this all for? Kaepernick explained he was giving a voice to those who didn’t have one. “I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change. When there is a significant change and I feel that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.  This stand wasn’t for me. This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice, people that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard, and effect change. So I’m in the position where I can do that, and I’m going to do that for people that can’t.” This brings light to the amount of police brutality and unarmed black people that were murdered by police, such as Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and so many more.

Now, Kaepernick is a free agent with teams unwilling to sign him and cast off as the “most hated player in the NFL.” Despite these setbacks, he is continuing his activism by raising money for Somalia and sending sixty tons of food to aid the Somalian people. Recently, Somalia has been hit with a devastating drought and famine that has killed at least 110 people, mainly women and children. The Somalian people and livestock are suffering from “hunger and watery diarrhea disease.”

Kaepernick is part of a group that includes; Ben Stiller, Jerome Jarre, YouTube stars Juanpa Zurita and Casey Neistat, trainer and activist Chakabars Clarke. They raised 1 million dollars in twenty-four hours on GoFundMe under the name “Love Army for Somalia.” A Turkish Airline also agreed to send sixty tons of food to Somalia. “We [love] Somalia,” Turkish Airlines said in a tweet. “We got the call for this meaningful flight.”

Kaepernick has also donated money to Meals On Wheels after President Donald Trump cut the program’s budget. He has also donated to Appetite for Change which is a community-led organization that strengthens families, creates economic prosperity, and encourages healthy living by using food as a tool to build health, wealth, and social change in North Minneapolis; $50, 000 to a Standing Rock health, and his donations focus on small, locally-based programs that likely go unnoticed.

Colin Kaepernick’s protest reached many professional athletes, college teams, and high schools. His protests shook the sports world and it doesn’t seem like it will stop anytime soon. Kaepernick used his platform to speak about the injustices black people, and people of color have been facing. He is staying true to his word.

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Pricilla Perez, Editor

I am currently a senior. I love feminism, my dog, and artsy things. I'm here for equality and the aesthetics life has to offer.

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From Kneeling to Sending Aid to Somalia: Colin Kaepernick’s Activism