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Colin Kaepernick spent his bye week mentoring kids, making good on his word

Kaepernick hosted the "Know Your Rights Camp" Saturday, which roughly 100 children from the Bay Area attended.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick continues to back up his national anthem protest with action. Last month, he promised to donate $1 million of his salary to organizations that aid communities in need and also pledged to give away all of the proceeds from his jersey sales. This week, while the 49ers were on a bye, he hosted an event geared towards providing inner-city youth with skills they need to live a successful life.

Kaepernick gathered with an estimated 100 underprivileged kids from the Bay Area Saturday for the "Know Your Rights Camp," which was held at a community center called HUB Oakland. Described by one planner as "Kaepernick's baby," the workshops covered topics ranging from nutrition health to advice on how to interact with police officers.

"Myself, my woman [girlfriend Nessa Diab], our friends, we came together, we created the ["Know Your Rights"] camp that we wanted to bring to underprivileged communities," Kaepernick told The Undefeated in an interview. "Starting first in the Bay Area, trying to reach San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, communities that are truly affected by a lot of the oppressive issues that we’re facing today. And we want to help bridge that gap, give these kids resources to try to help them advance in life, and give them some of the same opportunities that other people have and have the luxury of having."

The event didn't have a corporate backer and was six months in the making –– long before Kaepernick decided to kneel during the Star-Spangled Banner to protest police brutality and racial injustice. As evidenced by the various high school football teams whose players have also held demonstrations during the anthem, Kaepernick's message appears to be resonating with kids across the country. "He speaks for me," San Fransisco middle schooler Dayvon Hann told the San Jose Mercury news. "He is just a good person who helps a lot of people."

Kaepernick, 28, was named the 49ers's starting quarterback earlier this month and has lost each of his two games under center. But his on-field struggles don't affect the poignancy of his words. Saturday's event shows Kaepernick is committed to making a difference, no matter how polarizing he becomes. "There’s nothing that anybody is going to say that’s going to change how I feel about these issues," he said. "And there have been quite a few things that are misconstrued and different narratives that have been pushed. But ultimately that’s because of the system we function in. And the oppressive nature of the system is, it will always fight against people trying to correct those systems, and those systems of privilege, and balance the scales out."