Colin Kaepernick's silent protest of the national anthem was met with loud boos during the San Francisco 49ers' preseason game against the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night, which Kaepernick considers a simple "misunderstanding."
"The media painted this as I'm anti-American, anti-men-and-women of the military and that's not the case at all," Kaepernick told reporters. "I think what I did was taken out of context and spun a different way."
After the game, which resulted in a 49ers victory, the 28-year-old quarterback revealed he will further his protest by donating the first $1 million he earns this season to community organizations.
"I'm currently working with organizations to be involved, and making sure I'm actively in these communities, as well as donating the first million dollars I make this year to different organizations to help these communities and help these people," he said. "I've been very blessed to be in this position and make the kind of money I do, and I have to help these people. I have to help these communities. It's not right that they're not put in the position to succeed, or given the opportunities to succeed."
Kaepernick has been a controversial NFL figure since last week when he explained his reasons for remaining seated during the singing of the national anthem before games.
"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 told NFL Media
on Friday. "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 his statements incensed some of his fellow athletes, on Thursday, he was joined by teammate Eric Reid in taking a knee before the game during "The Star Spangled Banner." The protest has spread to other teams as well. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane sat during the national anthem before playing the Oakland Raiders on Thursday.
In contrast, during the singing of "God Bless America," Kaepernick stood and applauded.
"I love America," he said.