Colin Kaepernick completed his US$1 million donation pledge, the NFL athlete announced Wednesday as many celebrities in the U.S. helped him achieve the goal and matched his donations to organization working against racism and police brutality.
"I am happy to announce I have completed my #MillionDollarPledge,” Kaepernick, the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, said in a tweet. “For the final #10for10 joining me is my brother @usher!”
The NFL star has been giving US$100,000 a month since he announced his pledge late 2016. He had been making US$10,000 donations to different organizations throughout each month while also encouraging celebrities in the U.S. to suggest groups he could donate to and also asking them to match his donations in a campaign he called #10for10.
“I started my #MillionDollarPledge to help organizations on the ground doing work in our communities. It was never for or about me - it has & always will be for the people. We have work to do & the only way to get it done is if we all work together,” he said in another tweet.
His last donation went to the Helping Oppressed Mothers Endure, H.O.M.E, charity in Lithonia, Georgia, which was matched by African-American singer Usher.
“This was an opportunity to do something major, and you did it. You have raised $1 million,” Usher said in a video posted along with Kaepernick’s tweet. “I’m happy to be a part of the completion of that $1 million. Everyone that has done something around this is amazing. This is a collaborative effort. As a result of us helping each other, we all become stronger.”
Several celebrities have joined the Black athlete’s pledge over the past few years, including Serena Williams, Snoop Dogg, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Meek Mill.
The donations went to groups and organizations around the country that cover a range of issues facing the country including police brutality against people of color, racism, immigration, homelessness, education, and reproductive rights.
The NFL star made headlines in fall 2016 when he kicked off a peaceful protest to highlight police brutality against Black people and other people of color by refusing to stand during the playing of the U.S. national anthem at NFL games.
Many athletes in different sports around the country have joined his “take a knee” protest and have continued to do so over the past two years.
He had vowed to continue his protest until the end of racial injustice in the United States even after being attacked by some pro-police and pro-military people in the country who called his protest unpatriotic and an insult to the country’s army, a charge he denies.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers, becoming a free agent for the 2017 season but he was not signed by any of the NFL teams in what many called a attempt to punish him for his anti-police brutality and anti-racism protest against the anthem.