Colin Kaepernick launches coronavirus relief fund to aid black and brown communities

The former NFL quarterback donated $100,000, saying that communities of color “are being disproportionately devastated by COVID-19 because of hundreds of years of structural racism.”
Image: Colin Kaepernick looks to make a pass during a private NFL workout held at Charles R Drew high school
Colin Kaepernick looks to make a pass during a private NFL workout held at Charles R Drew high school on Nov. 16, 2019 in Riverdale, Georgia.Carmen Mandato / Getty Images

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By Wilson Wong

Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback turned activist, has contributed $100,000 to a coronavirus relief fund aiding black and brown communities affected by the coronavirus.

The fund was launched under Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights” campaign, which will go toward food, shelter relief, education, personal protective equipment and incarcerated people to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and provide resources to underserved populations.

“Black and brown communities are being disproportionately devastated by COVID-19 because of hundreds of years of structural racism,” Kaepernick said in a video posted on his social media accounts Thursday.

Although most states haven’t disclosed racial and ethnic data on coronavirus infections, early reports in major U.S. cities like Chicago and Detroit suggest COVID-19 has disproportionately affected African American and Latino communities — many of which have pre-existing conditions, jobs that can’t be done remotely, and are less likely to trust their doctors.

“That’s why we’ve established the ‘Know Your Rights’ Camp COVID-19 Relief Fund to help address these issues,” said Kaepernick. “We need each other now more than ever.”

San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick, right, and Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL game against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 18, 2016, in Charlotte, North Carolina.Mike McCarn / AP file

In 2016, Kaepernick, 32, began kneeling for the National Anthem before games to protest police brutality and racism against African Americans.

He has been an unsigned free agent for more than three years. In 2017, he filed a grievance against the NFL, accusing the league of colluding to exclude him. They later reached an undisclosed settlement.

With Kaepernick’s donation, the relief fund has surpassed $150,000, the website said.