Colin Kaepernick says he's not anti-American for refusing to stand for the national anthem and is willing to donate $1 million to charities helping those affected by the issues he's trying to bring attention to: police brutality and racial prejudice.
The embattled San Francisco 49ers quarterback made the declaration after being loudly booed by angry fans at a pre-season game against the San Diego Chargers where he stayed off his feet during The Star-Spangled Banner for the second time in a week.
"The media painted this as I'm anti-American, anti-men-and-women of the military and that's not the case at all,'' Kaepernick said, according to a video tweet by Bay Area News Group's Cam Inman.
"I realize that men and women of the military go out and sacrifice their lives and put themselves in harm's way for my freedom of speech and my freedoms in this country and my freedom to take a seat or take a knee so I have the utmost respect for them.
"I think what I did was taken out of context and spun a different way … I've been very blessed to be in this position and to be able to make the kind of money that I do and I have to help these people. I have to help these communities.”
Before the game, which ended in a 31-21 49ers victory, Kaepernick kneeled down during the national anthem.
His first protest occurred last Friday during a pre-season game with Green Bay Packers as the 28-year-old athlete remained seated during the playing of the national anthem.
Kaepernick, who earns $11.9 million a year, later explained, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."
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