Colin Kaepernick became a civil rights activist after the 2015 murder of Mario Woods

Lifetime's Summer Luau

Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem in 2016. He was playing for the San Francisco 49ers, and before each game, when the anthem played, he either took a knee or he simply sat down. I remember Kaepernick being very open to dialogue and conversation at that time – he spoke with veterans and veterans’ groups about how to best protest and then he made up his mind to continue protesting in certain ways. Then the NFL blackballed him from getting a job when his contract was up, and on and on. These are still conversations we’re having three years later. Kaepernick was always clear that he was protesting about racial inequality in general, and specifically protesting the extrajudicial killings of people of color. Well, Colin covers the latest issue of Paper Magazine and he spoke about the murder of a black man in San Francisco which triggered a change in him:

Colin Kaepernick says the 2015 shooting death of Mario Woods — a black man who was shot multiple times by police officers — is what compelled him to become a civil rights activist. Colin told his story to Paper Magazine … saying he was deeply affected by the incident, in which 26-year-old Woods was shot 21 times by 5 San Francisco PD officers during a Dec. 2, 2015 incident. Cops confronted Woods — who was holding a knife — after receiving reports about a nearby stabbing. Officers initially used non-lethal bean bag rounds on Woods while ordering him to drop the knife — but then opened fire with live ammo when they claim he became aggressive and a threat.

But, cellphone footage posted after the incident appeared to contradict the police description — showing Woods up against a wall while holding the knife at his side in a non-threatening manner. A death investigation revealed Woods was shot 21 times — 6 of those bullets struck him in the back. The incident outraged citizens who accused the SFPD of executing Woods unjustly … and according to Kap’s girlfriend, Nessa, the QB began feeding his brain immediately after.

“If Colin wasn’t reviewing a playbook, he was reading a history book,” Nessa told Paper. Kap took a knee in August 2016 — 8 months after Woods’ death — and began his Know Your Rights Camp initiative that same year, using the Black Panther movement as inspiration.

[From TMZ]

I’m using TMZ’s summary because TMZ has the history of the case. You can read the Paper story online – it’s about how Kaepernick developed his the Know Your Rights Camp (KYRC) based on the Black Panthers’ Ten-Point Platform and Program. Colin calls Mario Woods’ death an “execution” and said that in the months that followed, he felt loss, pain and anger. The KYRC will ideally reach out to kids in communities of color and try to teach them their rights, from legal rights to health care rights to educational rights. It sounds great, honestly.

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Photos courtesy of Getty, cover courtesy of Paper.

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12 Responses to “Colin Kaepernick became a civil rights activist after the 2015 murder of Mario Woods”

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  1. kerwood says:

    I am so proud of this man. He sacrificed his career and lost millions of dollars, to do the right thing. He’s an example to so many who will use the support of their community to line their pockets but won’t risk anything for them. Oh Jay-Z, I’m looking at you.

  2. Kaye says:

    I admire him so much.

    • otaku fairy.... says:

      Me too. He’s put a career he’s given a lot to, money, and really his safety on the line.

  3. Regina Falangie says:

    I’m proud of him too!!

  4. Christina says:

    He was one of my inspirations for taking risks and having hard conversations at my office. When you come from poverty, it’s hard to take risks about important things because you have responsibilities to your family and need your livelihood. Colin isn’t married, and he has no kids, so the need to make money wasn’t as immediate for him, but he has lost his entire career. I hope that he makes money in other ways so that he continue his work. It’s some of the most important work that can be done in the United States right now.

  5. Ann says:

    I’m very proud of Colin, just wish he voted. I had an old coworker who hated Kaepernick. He made a point to brag in front of a bunch of people once that him and his family always stand and put their hands over their America loving hearts for the anthem, even at home. I found out later he was a trump supporter, which did not surprise me at all. He died and I have some Michael Shannon-esk feeling about it. Kaep is living a good, righteous life so that’s all that matters at the end of the day.

  6. BlueSky says:

    I hope history is kind to him and I hope Karma bites those that blackballed him in the ass.

    The image of John Carlos and Tommie Smith doing the Black power salute during the 1968 Olympics is one of the most powerful images in history (I had that pic posted in my dorm room). They were ostracized and threatened. Now they are seen as heroes.

  7. Green Desert says:

    So, so admirable. This man sacrificed his career and millions of dollars for a cause he believed in, an important and critical cause. And we need him and others like him now in the US, maybe more than ever.

    I can’t remember if I’ve shared this, but when the cop who killed Philando Castile in Minneapolis was found not guilty, I was in MN for a wedding (like the same day). A St. Paul police officer was at the wedding. I would describe the wedding guests as mostly conservative and all white, except for me. There were several whispered conversations about it in support of the cop. I didn’t know anyone there (it was an old friend of my husband’s getting married) but people stopped talking about it when they made eye contact with me. One guy who was saying something along the lines of “I can understand where the cop was coming from” made eye contact with me and then said “actually, I don’t know.” It was a weird experience and touched something in me. How do you teach people who willfully don’t want to learn about systemic racism and implicit bias what happens when they ignore those things? How it affects even them and how they think?

    I just really admire Kap and what he has done. He’s not perfect and will not be, but is doing something good here.

  8. tw says:

    Nothing but respect for him.

  9. Nev says:

    WORD UP.