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- When Colin Kaepernick found himself without a job in the NFL, he turned his focus to activism, donating time and money to a wide variety of causes.
- In just over a year, Kaepernick donated over $1 million to various charities, ranging in causes from social justice to education.
- While Kaepernick has now re-entered the spotlight as the face of Nike's latest campaign, his commitment to his work doesn't show any signs of wavering.
Colin Kaepernick hasn't played an NFL snap since 2016, but that hasn't stopped him from using the money he made during his time in the league to make an impact off the field.
Kaepernick became a lightning rod of attention for his protests of police brutality during the national anthem before kickoff and subsequently found himself without a roster spot in 2017. While the protests he inspired carried on through the 2017 season, Kap himself turned to activism, dedicating his time and a significant amount of money to causes and charities that inspired him and helped others.
Through six seasons in the NFL, Kaepernick made a little over $43 million for his time as a quarterback. In his first year out of the league, Kaepernick pledged to donate $1 million to a wide variety of charities ranging in causes from social justice to education.
Over a year and a half, Kaepernick fulfilled that pledge, finished by donating $10,000 to 10 different organizations in January of this year, inviting different celebrities including Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Serena Williams, and Meek Mill to match him throughout the streak of giving.
You can see a summary of Kaepernick's charitable pledges here.
On the eve of the 2018 NFL season, Kaepernick is still out of the league, but his commitment to causes he believes in hasn't wavered, and it has made him the star of a new Nike ad campaign that quickly became one of the biggest stories in sports.
Nike's relationship with Kaepernick looks as though it will go beyond his initial endorsement and commercial — reports have said that the brand will aim to brand merchandise including shoes and shirts with Kap in mind. Additionally, while the exact value of his deal is still unclear, the brand will reportedly also donate money to Kaepernick's "Know Your Rights" campaign, which aims to "raise awareness on higher education, self-empowerment, and instruction to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios."
When Kaepernick was out of the league, his most powerful tool was his silence. He used his voice sparingly, retweeting here and there and rarely speaking publicly, choosing instead to go about his good works quietly and let his action speak for itself.
Now, it looks as though Kaepernick is ready to return to the spotlight as the centerpiece of Nike's ad campaign, but as he's already proven with his charitable contributions so far, his commitment to causes isn't going anywhere.
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