San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick addressed the media following the team's 31-21 victory over the San Diego Chargers in their preseason finale. He was asked a number of questions regarding his protest of the National Anthem.
On Eric Reid Joining Him
"It was amazing," said Kaepernick. "Me and Eric had many conversations and he approached me and said 'I support what you're doing. I support what your message is. Let's think about how we can do this together.' And we talked about it at length and we wanted to make sure that the message we're trying to send isn't lost with the action that's coming along with it."
On the Media Portrayal
"I think it's a misunderstanding," said Kaepernick. "The media painted this as I'm anti-American. I'm anti men and women of the military and that's not the case at all. I realize that men and women of the military go out and sacrifice their lives and put themselves in harm's way for my freedom of speech and my freedoms in this country and my freedom to take a seat or take a knee. So I have the upmost respect for them and I think what I did was taken out of context and spun a different way."
On His Message
"The message is that we have a lot of issues in this country that we need to deal with," said Kaepernick. "We have a lot of people that are oppressed. We have a lot of people that aren't treated equally. That aren't given equal opportunities."
On Taking It a Step Further
Kaepernick stated that he is currently working with organizations to be involved and that he wants to work within the communities that are impacted. He also stated that he would donate the first $1 million that he makes this year to such organizations to help the impacted communities and people.
On Conversation with Nate Boyer
"[Eric Reid and I] were talking to him about how can we get the message back on track and not take away from the military," said Kaepernick. "Not take away from pride in our country. But keep the focus on what the issues really are. And as we talked about it, we came up with taking a knee because there are still issues that need to be addressed and it was also a way to try to show more respect to the men and women that fight for this country."
On His Focus on Football
"My day is spent with my teammates, in meetings, at practice," said Kaepernick. "I spend 10, 11, 12 hours a day on football. This is something that we're going in our personal lives as far as taking a stand and trying to fight for people's rights."
On the Dream Result
"The dream result would be equality," said Kaepernick. "Justice for everybody. This is really something about human rights. It's about the people. This isn't about anything other than that."
On the San Francisco 49ers
"This is a phenomenal organization," said Kaepernick. "I've had great conversations here. I've had great memories here and this team has given me the opportunity to become the man I am today. And I'm grateful for that. I'm thankful for that. And San Francisco has become my home."
On How Long This Will Go
"As far as how long this goes, I'm not sure," said Kaepernick. "I want to be able to affect change and I think there are a lot of other people that want to as well. And organizing that and making sure that we can help each other out and make the biggest impact that we can in these communities and in people's lives. I think when that happens, I think a lot of people will really influence me to stand."