San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick says he will not keep the proceeds he gets from sales of his bestselling jersey. Instead he will donate the money “back into the communities.”
Kaepernick made news late last month after he and a teammate, Eric Reid, chose to sit out the national anthem before an Aug. 26 pre-season game in a show of protest against racial injustice.
Since then his $99 jersey has shot from the league’s 20th bestseller to the No. 1 spot. Kaepernick has continued to sit out the national anthem in subsequent games. His protest has also received its fair share of vocal criticism, including a boycott threat by the Santa Clara Police Union, which is threatening to stop working 49ers games at Levi’s Stadium.
Kaepernick made his announcement in an Instagram post. He did not specify exactly to whom he would give the money, but CNNMoney reports that he previously pledged to donate the first $1 million he makes this year. His NFL salary for 2016 is $11.9 million.
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I want to thank everyone who has shown me love and support, it truly means a lot! I wasn't expecting my jersey sales to jump to number one because of this, but it shows the people's belief that we can achieve justice and equality for ALL! The only way I can repay you for the support is to return the favor by donating all the proceeds I receive from my jersey sales back into the communities! I believe in the people, and WE can be the change!
Every player in the NFL receives two-thirds of the money made from their personal jersey sales. The rest goes to the NFL Players Association, though some of that money goes into a pool, which is then divided among all NFL players.
The Players Association could not immediately be reached for comment.