Colin Kaepernick

Kaepernick isn't playing this Super Bowl week, but he's still in the news

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick AP

Does Colin Kaepernick need football?

Five years after the graduate of Turlock's Pitman High led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl, he's been making more news than ever.

Kaepernick is continuing his "Million Dollar Pledge" to donate money to causes he deems worthy. On Sunday, he pledged $10,000 to Youth Service Inc. in Philadelphia. And over the weekend, he held the latest "Know Your Rights Camp" event in New Orleans.

Kaepernick also got recognized by none other than hip-hop star Jay Z, who called him "an iconic figure" and said he doesn't need football.

The musician, whose real name is Shawn Carter, told CNN's Van Jones, "Would you rather be playing football, getting your head dinged in, or would you rather be an iconic figure for the rest of your life? ..."We confuse the idea of having a job with fulfilling your purpose."

Kaepernick started a national civil rights discussion when, still playing for the San Francisco 49ers, he first sat, then kneeled during the national anthem. "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 said then.

He's also the focus of an ESPN The Magazine feature story on the movement he started. There also was a story in The Undefeated about the talents he displayed years ago.