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Colin Kaepernick Reveals Mario Woods Shooting Helped Lead to His Activism

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick revealed the incident that helped spark his activism against police brutality and racism.  

In a new interview with Paper magazine, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick revealed the incident that helped spark his activism against police brutality and racism.  

According to Paper, Kaepernick and his partner, Nessa, devised a plan that led to his Know Your Rights Camp about 10 months before he started kneeling in protest. 

"The discussion happened shortly after the execution of Mario Woods," Kaepernick told Paper.

The 26-year-old Woods was killed December 2, 2015 by five San Francisco police officers, who opened fired and struck him with at least 21 bullets. His death sparked Bay Area protests and drew condemnation after cellphone video showed the incident. 

Nessa told Paper, "If Colin wasn't reviewing a playbook, he was reading a history book," as he read up on the struggle for Black freedom and self-determination. 

What followed was the Know Your Rights Camp, which is a program "to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders."

Last week, Kaepernick posted a powerful video in honor of the three-year anniversary of his first protest. 

The former 49ers quarterback started kneeling during the "Star-Spangled Banner" in August 2016 as a means of protesting racial inequality and police brutality. Dozens of other NFL players, as well as numerous other athletes across America, ultimately joined him. The protests grew during the 2017 season after President Donald Trump criticized NFL players who chose to follow suit. Trump said owners should "fire" NFL players who protest the anthem and referred to them as "son[s] of b------". Players responded by protesting en masse.

Kaepernick hasn't played since the 2016 season. He opted out of his 49ers contract in March 2017 and later filed a grievance with Eric Reid against the NFL for collusion. The two sides reached an agreement on a settlement in February 2019.