Rather than distance himself from Colin Kaepernick in the wake of the quarterback’s recent decision to protest the national anthem, San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York has taken a step firmly in support of him.
The 49ers announced in a press release Thursday evening that York planned to donate $1 million to organizations working to fight inequality and improve relationships between law enforcement and the surrounding communities. To do so, he is partnering with two Bay Area foundations committed to those causes: the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation.
The 49ers’ full statement reads:
Today, I am committing that the 49ers Foundation will contribute $1 Million to the cause of improving racial and economic inequality and fostering communication and collaboration between law enforcement and the communities they serve here in the Bay Area.
We are partnering with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation in this effort. We have chosen to work with these two organizations because they have proven track records of effecting change in the face of challenging problems and have the collective reach to make the greatest impact. Silicon Valley Community Foundation is the largest community foundation in the world, managing $7.3 billion in assets and more than 1,800 philanthropic funds globally. The San Francisco Foundation has served the people of the Bay Area since 1948, almost as long as the 49ers franchise. We are excited to work with these two renowned foundations over the coming months to develop a giving plan to help our community find unifying solutions to these pressing issues.
York’s donation matches Kaepernick’s, who said last week that he will donate the first $1 million he made this year to organizations committed to helping the inner-city community. After his jersey rocketed to No. 1 following his protest, Kaepernick announced that, in addition, he would donate all the money he receives from his jersey sales, too.
Since Kaepernick decided to protest the national anthem, additional NFL players have come forward in support ― most recently Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall on Thursday.