Colin Kaepernick Spends His Bye Week Mentoring The Youth in Oakland
Many high profile athletes, like the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, TNT’s Charles Barkley, and Former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis, have questioned 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick on what he really is trying to accomplish by kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem.
Kaepernick answered them and many other critics during the 49ers bye week as he took the time to mentor the youth in Oakland, California.
Marcus Thompson of Mercury News wrote up an article on what Kaepernick was doing there and what he was hoping to accomplish.
“This is why Colin Kaepernick braves through the insults and criticism. This is why he doesn’t mind carrying the weight that comes with speaking out. This moment right here. This day. This impact.
“The work we put in is here,” Kaepernick said Saturday, describing the rush he got standing on stage, absorbing the hope in the eyes of the youth seated before him. “The fact that the kids were here and they’re excited, that meant a lot. To see how attentive the kids were and how engaged they were. To me that was powerful.”
It is the 49ers’ bye week. But he didn’t escape to some fancy vacation spot, which might be needed after the 49ers’ woeful start. Instead, Kaepernick was on Broadway in the Uptown district of Oakland. Working.
He put in a good eight-hour shift at the event he, his girlfriend – nationally syndicated radio host Nessa Diab – “and my homies” have been working on for about six months. That’s right, before his protest of the national anthem went public. Some 100 youth from about 19 organizations across the Bay Area convened at Impact Hub Oakland for what they called “Know Yours Rights Camp.”
“He cares. I can just tell,” said A.J. Gilbert, 14, a freshman at Albany High School. “He’s not one of those conceited stars.”
“I know what my purpose is,” Kaepernick said. “I know what my goal is. My conviction in that is strong enough that it doesn’t matter what anybody says because I know it’s right. And the fact that 100 kids would come out here on a Saturday morning, on their free time to do this, early in the morning, that shows that they believe in this, too.”