SANTA CLARA — The last organization to employ Colin Kaepernick stepped up Saturday night in the wake of national unrest following the death of Minneapolis resident George  Floyd.

49ers owner Jed York issued the following statement on Twitter:

“People throughout our country are hurting. Emotions are raw and rightfully so. Heinous acts have been committed in recent weeks. Before we are able to realize impactful change, we must first have the courage and compassion as human beings to come together and acknowlege the problem: Black men, women and children and other oppressed minorities continue to be systematically discriminated against. The 49ers organization is committing to support the legislative priorities of the Players Coalition and to donating $1 million dollars to local and national organizations who are creating change.”

Kaepernick was released by the 49ers after the 2016 season. He initially began the season as a backup to Blaine Gabbert after recovering from multiple knee surgeries and in the third exhibition game did not stand for the national anthem.

At the urging of a former Navy Seal and Seattle Seahawk Nate Boyer, Kaepernick later began kneeling for the anthem instead of standing as a show of respect. While the 49ers released Kaepernick, they continued to publicly support his right to protest peacefully throughout the season. Kaepernick’s stance was a national story and no team has signed him in the aftermath.

Protests have erupted throughout the country after the death of Floyd on May 25. Derek Chauvin, one of four police officers who apprehended Floyd during a traffic stop, has been chanrged with third degree murder. Videos showed Chauvin keeping his knee on Floyd’s neck even as the suspect said he couldn’t breathe.



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Author: Jerry McDonald