colin kaepernick launches a black panthers-inspired know your rights camp for kids

The NFL quarterback who refuses to stand for the US national anthem in protest at the shocking police killings of black people, has started an educational camp for underprivileged young people.

by Charlotte Gush
02 November 2016, 12:55pm

Colin Kaepernick, an NFL quarterback and Black Lives Matter activist, has launched a educational camp to teach underprivileged young people about their rights and opportunities in life, called Know Your Rights Camp. The program takes inspiration from the Black Panther Party's '10 Point Plan' manifesto, listing the rights each child should know they have, including the right to be free, healthy, safe, educated, and alive.

The Camp launched with a day workshop in Oakland, California, run by Kaepernick and his friends. It was attended by New York Daily News journalist Shaun King, who reports that the NFL star told the kids, "We're here today to fight back and give you all lessons to combat the oppressive issues that our people face on a daily basis. We're here to give you tools to help you succeed." These tools include knowledge of American policing history and police brutality, as well as financial literacy, information about accessing higher education, health, and, "skills to make sure you always make it home safely." Kaepernick expressed to King that this was just the beginning for Know Your Rights Camp, and that he hopes to extend the program across the US.

Kaepernick's name has becoming known internationally in recent months after he refused to stand for the American national anthem at NFL games in a peaceful protest against the shocking and continued killing of black people by the US police forces. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he explained to NFL Media. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

While some Americans have found his protest disrespectful, Kaepernick has found support from fellow NFL players and personalities in other sports, as well as from John Legend and Beyoncé's mom Tina Lawson. Barack Obama defended his constitutional right to make a political statement in this way, and said, he'd "rather have young people engaged in the argument and trying to think through how they can be part of our democratic process than those who are just sitting on the sidelines," CNN reports.


Text Charlotte Gush
Photography via Know Your Rights Camp

police brutality
Black Lives Matter
Black Panthers
Colin Kaepernick