On February 15, 2019, it was announced that Colin Kaepernick reached a confidential settlement with the NFL and withdrew the grievance, which alleged that he was being blackballed because of his on-field political statements, kneeling during the national anthem, as opposed to his performance. Kaepernick may not have played professional football since 2016, but he’s still showing off at charity events. New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley said he met Kaepernick at a charity flag football event in Atlanta, which was hosted by Quavo of Migos.
Barkley caught a pass from Kaepernick for a touchdown, but said it wasn’t his skill that impressed him most.
“Yeah definitely, whoa. Colin Kaepernick, I definitely went up and talked to him,” Barkley told Fox 5 Atlanta, via the New York Daily News. “I came up to [Kaepernick] and told him first and foremost I don’t mean to come off as a fan, but I’m a big fan. I just respect everything that he did, and he gave me a lot of great advice off the field and on the field. And when you see a guy that [did what] he did at a high level and the impact that he had on just America as a whole. He definitely listened and I appreciated him taking the time to talk.”
During the third preseason game of the 2016 season, the media noticed that Kapernick had been sitting on the bench during the anthem, rather than standing.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he explained afterwards. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” referencing a series of killings of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement officers.
After meeting with former NFL player and U.S. military veteran Nate Boyer, Kaepernick agreed to kneel during the anthem rather than sit. A move that Boyer had suggested would show more respect to veterans, “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect,” he said. “When we’re on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security.”
Kaepernick also pledged to donate $1 million to “organizations working in oppressed communities.” In 2018, Kaepernick announced that he would make the final $100,000 donation of his “Million Dollar Pledge” in the form of $10,000 donations to charities that would be matched by celebrities. Also in 2016, Kaepernick founded the “Know Your Rights Camp,” an organization which holds free seminars to disadvantaged youths to teach them about self-empowerment, American history, and legal rights.