While most NFL players are using their bye week to relax and spend time with loved ones, one particular QB chose to spend his weekend differently.
Colin Kaepernick provided children across the Bay area with a once in a lifetime camp experience, however not one football lesson was taught. According to Daily News writer, Shaun King, who attended the camp with his son, the 49ers QB hosted an I Know My Rights camp, providing each attendee with breakout sessions that spoke on essential life skills that will prepare them for a world that often treats people of color with incredible harshness. “We want to teach you today about financial literacy, how you can pursue higher education, how you can be physically fit and healthy.” Kaepernick continued, “We will talk about police brutality, and what to do about it, but we also have lawyers, professors, health and fitness experts, because we want you to be able to live the life of your dreams.”
Opting out of having media coverage dominate his camp, not only did Kaepernick speak to the children, he devoted the day before camp, to personally stuffing each gift bag. He shared a personal story, noting that he was adopted at a young age and never knew much about his origin, except for being born in Milwaukee. In his quest to find out who he was, Colin Kaepernick took an Ancestry DNA test and discovered that his ancestors are from Ghana and Nigeria. “It changed everything for me,” Kaepernick stated to all attendees, “It helped me know that my history did not begin with being adopted. It did not begin with slavery. It’s even part of the reason I wear this afro now. Im not going to hide who I am.”
Colin then presented each attendee with their special gift bag- a backpack with forms where each person can discover their own ancestry. Colin told them that he wanted them to know about themselves what he now knew about himself. He wanted them all to know their history.
While Colin looks forward to his camp reaching other cities, he highlighted 10 rights that every child, every person, should always know:
- You have the right to be free.
- You have the right to be healthy.
- You have the right to be brilliant.
- You have the right to be safe.
- You have the right to be loved.
- You have the right to be courageous.
- You have the right to be alive.
- You have the right to be trusted.
- You have the right to be educated.
- You have the right to Know Your Rights.
The participants got to leave with a shirt that had these rights on the back of it. They won’t easily forget. Colin is taking the time to impact children, making them aware of not only where they came from but who they are. These lessons provide the foundation that encourage greatness. Colin we commend you.