Colin Kaepernick Marks 3 Years Since He First Took a Knee in the Wake of JAY-Z's NFL Deal
On Wednesday, Kaepernick, 31, shared a video compilation, which shows heartbreaking footage of police brutally, family members crying out on behalf of slain victims and protestors demanding change.
“Today marks the three year anniversary of the first time I protested systemic oppression,” Kaepernick wrote. “I continue to work and stand with the people in our fight for liberation, despite those who are trying to erase the movement!”
“The movement has always lived with the people!” Kaepernick added.
The goal of the rapper’s collaboration with the organization is to “enhance the NFL’s live game experiences and to amplify the league’s social justice efforts,” according to a statement on the league’s website.
As part of the agreement, JAY-Z’s label Roc Nation “will advise on the selection of artists for major NFL performances like the Super Bowl,” according to the NFL.
In a press release obtained by the NFL, JAY-Z, 49, explained that “This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”
“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” he continued. “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas — instead, we unify them.”
JAY-Z’s decision has been met with criticism as many reporters pointed out at a press conference on Wednesday that Kaepernick remains unsigned because of his desire to take a stand.
JAY-Z addressed the backlash telling reporters, “I think we’ve passed kneeling. I think it’s time to go to actionable items,” XXL reported.
However, the rapper doesn’t want people to stop protesting. “Kneeling — I know we’re stuck on it ’cause it’s a real thing — it’s a form of protest. I support protesting across the board,” JAY-Z said during the press conference, XXL reported.
“THIS is a lie,” Diab wrote on Twitter. “COLIN never spoke to JAY-Z and NFL ahead of that deal being done. They NEVER included him in any discussion.”
Although Kaepernick hasn’t played professional football in years, he’s “still ready” to return to the NFL.
Last week, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback posted a powerful video to Instagram and Twitter of his almost daily fitness routine.
The video highlights Kaepernick’s 5 a.m. workouts, consisting of rigorous weight training and other difficult exercises. Alongside the clip, Kaepernick noted he’s “still ready.”
According to USA Today, Kaepernick has been out of work for 889 days as of Aug. 7, since he left the 49ers in March 2017. In 2018, Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance lawsuit against the NFL, which was settled out of court in February of this year, according to a statement from his attorneys.
The NFL star started the #TakeAKnee movement during an August 2016 preseason game, when he chose to kneel rather than stand during the national anthem in protest of racial injustices, including police brutality.
“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… I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. If they take football away, my endorsements from me — I know that I stood up for what is right,” he said in a previous interview with Steve Wyche of NFL Media.
A rep for Kaepernick did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.