Colin Kaepernick may not be calling plays as a quarterback on a football field right now, but he’s still playing offense in the fight against COVID-19 and racial inequality.
Through Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, which he started in 2016, the former NFL player is donating more than $1.95 million to assist Black and Brown communities with COVID-19 relief efforts and to bail out protesters, according to TMZ.
Know Your Rights will spread $800,000 in grants across 13 groups that all work with COVID-19 relief efforts. That money is coupled with another $450,000 in grants that will go to different U.S. cities to assist people with rent and other essential living costs.
As has been widely reported by agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black and Hispanic communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 both in terms of death rates and lack of access to health care.
Know Your Rights is also helping people suffering from food insecurity during the pandemic by teaming with food tech company Impossible Foods.
That partnership officially launched on Thursday, July 9, in San Francisco with food being handed out by Al Pastor Papi Food Truck and the San Francisco Marin Food Bank.
On the legal defense end, Know Your Rights will give $500,000 to the National Lawyers Guild for assist in defending those arrested during protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day.
Kaepernick’s organization also is shelling out another $200,000 to help bail out protesters in various cities, including Miami, Detroit, and Atlanta.
“We look forward to the partnerships created through the initiatives having both a significant immediate and long term impact,” a Know Your Rights spokesman told TMZ. “Our efforts to become deeply entrenched in communities and with organizational partners has ensured our ability to maximize the impact on the lives of people living in communities we serve.”
Kaepernick has been assisting with COVID-19 relief efforts across the nation and helping the recent protesters from the beginning.
He launched the “Know Your Rights Camp COVID-19 Relief Fund” in April to assist Black and Hispanic communities and donated $100,000 of his own money. The fund was created to help people with essential living costs and to raise awareness about COVID-19.
The following month, Kaepernick started a legal defense initiative to help those arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during protests for Floyd.