Colin Kaepernick announces $1 million donation as part of plan to take his protest 'a step further'

SAN FRANCISCO (ABC NEWS) -- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick announced plans to take his peaceful protest against racial injustice and police brutality "a step further" at a post-game news conference Thursday night.

Kaepernick, who has refused to stand during performances of the national anthem at two NFL pre-season games, said he would be donating the first $1 million he makes this season to organizations assisting communities affected by racial injustice and police brutality.

The quarterback explained he wanted to make sure he wasn't "just talking about" these issues, but also "actively being involved" and "actively trying to make a change."

"I’ve been very blessed to be in this position and be able to make the kind of money I do," Kaepernick said. "I have to help these communities. It’s not right that they’re not put in the position to succeed or given those opportunities to succeed."

The football player also said he was "definitely considering" accepting invitations to meet with police and other law enforcement officers.

The San Francisco Police Department has had "a lot of issues," Kaepernick said, adding that he wanted to address the alleged "racist text messages that have been passed back-and-forth between PD members."

The 28-year-old quarterback first began his protest last week when he refused to stand, and instead sat down, during the performance of the national anthem before a game.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media. "There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

He continued his protest by again refusing to stand, and instead kneeling, as "The Star-Spangled Banner" was sung before last night's pre-season finale against the San Diego Chargers. He was joined by teammate Eric Reid, who also knelt down.

Kaepernick, who was born in Milwaukee to a white mother and an black father, said at Thursday night's news conference he believed his protest has been falsely painted as "anti-American and "anti-men-and-women-of-the-military."

"I realize that men and women of the military go out and sacrifice their lives and put their selves in harm’s way for my freedom of speech," he said. "I have the utmost respect for them. I think what I did was taken out of context and spun a different way."

The quarterback added he and his teammate even had a conversation before Thursday night's game with a military veteran named Nate Boyer, who helped them come up with the kneeling idea.

"We were talking to him about how can we get the message back on track and not take away from the military, not take away from pride in our country, but [still] keep the focus on what the issues really are," Kaepernick said. "Once again, I’m not anti-American. I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better."

ABC News' Michael Edison Hayden and Julia Jacobo contributed to this report.

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