SANTA CLARA, Calif. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Colin Kaepernick’s jersey sales have skyrocketed since he began refusing to stand for the national anthem, but the 49ers quarterback is not looking to profit financially from the spotlight.
Kaepernick announced Wednesday on Instagram that he will donate all the proceeds he receives from his jersey sales back into communities of need.
“I want to thank everyone who has shown me love and support, it truly means a lot!” Kaepernick wrote. “I wasn’t expecting my jersey sales to jump to number one because of this, but it shows the people’s belief that we can achieve justice and equality for ALL! The only way I can repay you for the support is to return the favor by donating all the proceeds I receive from my jersey sales back into the communities! I believe in the people, and WE can be the change!”
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I want to thank everyone who has shown me love and support, it truly means a lot! I wasn't expecting my jersey sales to jump to number one because of this, but it shows the people's belief that we can achieve justice and equality for ALL! The only way I can repay you for the support is to return the favor by donating all the proceeds I receive from my jersey sales back into the communities! I believe in the people, and WE can be the change!
Kaepernick’s No. 7 jersey is now the top selling one among all NFL players, according to NFLShop.com.
Kaepernick’s protest dominated the public discussion of the nation’s most popular sport last week, and his stance has been met with passionate condemnation and support. His refusal to stand for the anthem first came to public notice Aug. 26 when he remained seated on the 49ers’ bench before a preseason game against Green Bay.
The quarterback cited numerous reasons for his actions, ranging from racial injustice and minority oppression to police brutality and the treatment of military veterans.
Kaepernick said he plans to continue his protests during the regular season. He also intends to donate $1 million “to different organizations to help these communities and help these people,” declining to provide specifics.
“The message is that we have a lot of issues in this country that we need to deal with,” Kaepernick said last week. “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. Police brutality is a huge thing that needs to be addressed. There are a lot of issues that need to be talked about.
“I’m not anti-American. I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better, and I think having these conversations helps everybody have a better understanding of where everybody is coming from.”
Meanwhile Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he disagrees with Kaepernick’s choice to kneel during the national anthem, but recognizes the quarterback’s right to protest.
“I support our players when they want to see change in society, and we don’t live in a perfect society,” Goodell told The Associated Press. “On the other hand, we believe very strongly in patriotism in the NFL. I personally believe very strongly in that.”
Goodell added that NFL players having a visible platform for their viewpoints. With that comes responsibility to use those platforms properly.
“We have to choose respectful ways of doing that so that we can achieve the outcomes we ultimately want and do it with the values and ideals that make our country great,” said Goodell, whose late father, Charles, was a U.S. senator.
“I think it’s important to have respect for our country, for our flag, for the people who make our country better; for law enforcement; and for our military who are out fighting for our freedoms and our ideals.”
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)