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Colin Kaepernick spoke about his message, his plans, and yes, his socks

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The quarterback went into detail about what he would like to see come from his demonstrations

San Francisco 49ers v San Diego Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

It was another lengthy and thoughtful press conference for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The man who Chip Kelly says is one of the top two quarterbacks on the team, explained and defended his actions, and his wardrobe, in front of a large group of local and national members of the media.

It was two minutes shorter than his last talk, clocking in at just over 16 minutes but it looked as though he would have stayed and talked much longer if the team didn’t have plane to catch.

We have the full transcript:

What was tonight like for you?

It was great. felt good to be back on the field. A little more successful outing than the last one. Felt like we got into a good rhythm offensively, had a couple pf long drives. Offensive line was doing a great job up front. Receivers and tight ends were making plays. Things went well.

How was it to have Eric Reid join you kneeling down?

It was amazing. Me and Eric had many conversations and he approached me and said, “I support what you’re doing, I support what your message is, let’s think about how we can do this together.” We talked about it at length. We wanted to make sure the message that we’re trying to send isn’t lost with the action that’s coming along with it.

How did feel getting booed every time you went onto the field?

Well, I think it’s a 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. I realize the men and women of the military go out and sacrifice they lives and put theirselves in harms way for my freedom of speech and my freedoms in this country and my freedom take a seat or take a knee. So I have the utmost respect for them and I think what I did was taken out of context and spun a different way.

What is the message?

The message is that we have a lot of issues in this country that we need to deal with. We have a lot of people that are oppressed, We have a lot of people that aren’t treated equally, aren’t give equal opportunities. Police Brutality is a huge thing that needs to be addressed. There are a lot of issues that need to be talked about, need to be brought to light, and we need to fix those things.

Are you disappointed that the message may be getting lost?

I think that’s something that’s hard for this country to address, is what the real issues are and coming to the point where can admit that these are issues. Once we admit that, we can deal with it, we can fix them and make this country and these communities a better place.

Are you disappointed that people are focusing on everything else except that message?

Yeah, it is disappointing because it takes us farther away from the end goal which is making the communities in this country a better place.

Does any of that fall on you to articulate a clear message? Do you plan on taking this further than just kneeling?

Yes, I am planning to take it a step further. I’m currently working with organizations to be involved and making sure that 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.

The San Francisco police department has invited you to come visit the academy, is that something you’re considering?

Yeah, I’m most definitely considering it. The SFPD has had a lot of issues, and I think one of the issues that needs to be addressed are the racist text messages that have been passed back and forth between PD members, not only talking about the community, but also talking about colleagues that work in the same department as them.

When did you decide that you’ll donate $1 million dollars, and what went into deciding to take a knee instead of sitting?

It was something I was thinking about to try to make sure that I’m not just talking about something, but I’m actively being involved and actively trying to make a change in these communities. I’ve been very blessed to be in this position and be able to 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 those opportunities to succeed. As far as taking a knee tonight, Eric as well as myself had a long conversation with Nate Boyer, who is a military vet and 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 keep the focus on what the issues really are. As we talked about it, we came up with taking a knee because there are issues that still need to be addressed and it was also a way try to show more respect to the men and women that fight for this country.

What was it about Nate Boyer's article that made you reach out to him?

It was really just the feelings he had. It was an observation and how he felt, and as I talked to him, as we had that conversation, those are discussions that this country needs to have. While I was talking to him, he mentioned 22 military vets a day commit suicide, but this country will let those vets go and fight the war for them, but when they come back, they won’t do anything to try to help them. That’s another issue and these issues need to be addressed.

Were there any religious overtones to taking a knee?

No, there was no religious overtones with that.

During "God Bless America" you were standing and you applauded at the end.

Yeah, 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 and I think having these conversations helps everybody have a better understanding of where everybody is coming from. Those conversations are important to have, because the better we understand each other, the better we know each other, the better we can deal and communicate with each other, which ultimately makes everyone and puts everybody in a better position.

(CB) Jeremy Lane chose to sit during the national anthem tonight, did you know or see that?

I didn’t know that, but I’m very happy, I’m very proud of him for doing that. I think there are a lot of people that know there are issues and want to address them. I think one of the biggest issues is going about it the right way and also having a clear course of action, which I’ve had a lot of conversations this week with a lot of different people and trying to plan those things out so we can say 'these are the courses of action we want to take' and be very clear and concise with those actions.

What organizations you are working with?

There are a lot that we’re currently working with and trying to figure out what the best way to go about this and what we can actively do. I really don’t want to get into specifics as far as organizations, but we’ve had a lot of discussions in that area.

Is this taking away from preparing for football?

No, my day is spent with my teammates in meetings at practice. I spend 10, 11, 12 hours a day on football. This is something that we’re doing in our personal lives as far as taking a stand trying to fight for people’s rights.

What would be the dream result from these demonstrations?

The dream result would be equality, justice for everybody. This is really something about human rights, it’s about the people. This isn’t about anything other than that, and some people aren’t given the same rights, aren’t given the same opportunities as others, and that’s really what the issue is.

Vance McDonald mentioned that this has brought the team closer. Do you agree with that statement?

Most definitely. I think I’ve seen my team grow a lot this week. It is the open discussions because I think in a lot of cases there’s barriers up because you don’t know my background, I don’t know yours, and we just assume things based on race, based on where you’re from, based on what I’ve heard your past is. We can’t do that. We have to have these conversations, we have to understand each other better and ultimately that brings us closer together, which I’ve seen with my team.

Have there been many players reaching out to you privately?

I’ve had numbers of players do that. I think there are a lot of conversations happening not only in NFL locker rooms but around the country. I’ve also had friends that aren’t on football teams say “I respect what you’re doing, I support you, and I’ve had more conversations about human rights and oppression and things that need to change in the last week than I’ve had in my entire life. And the fact that those conversations are happening is a start.

What did you get from the fans that you talked to and signed autographs for after the game?

It really meant a lot that that those people came out and supported me tonight and I think they knew it wasn’t going to be an ideal situation or circumstance because some people might not completely understand what I’m trying to do but I love being with people and the fact that they were out there, they were excited, it genuinely made me happy and I wanted to try to show my appreciation by going over, talking to them and showing my support for them.

Did anyone say anything that stuck with you?

More than anything the people just saying “we support you we’re with you, don’t let anybody deter you from what you’re trying to do.” I think that sticks with because a lot of those people are that I want to give equal opportunities to.

You might get released. How much do you want to keep this job?

This is a phenomenal organization and I’ve had great conversations here, I’ve had great memories here, and this team has given me the opportunity to become the man I am today. I’m grateful for that I’m thankful for that and San Francisco has become my home.

Do you think the chances are less after the last few days and the conversations that you’ve had?

I hope it’s lessened. I’ve had conversations with people. They really do understand what I’m trying to do and who I’m trying to help and I think that’s huge. Understanding each other is a big step towards treating each other the right way and getting towards that goal of equality.

How long do you plan on taking a knee?

At this point I do think it will continue to be taking a knee. as far as how long this goes, I’m not sure. I want to be able to affect change and and I think there are a lot of other people who want to as well. Organizing that and making sure that we can help each other out and make the biggest impact that we can in these communities and in people’s lives. I think when that happens, I think a lot of people will really influence me to stay.

How is this not is a distraction for your team?

I don’t think it’s a distraction at all. Like we talked about earlier, it’s really brought our team closer because we’ve gotten closer to each other on a personal level, so we understand each other better, we go out on the field and fight for each other, because we know we’re fighting for the same thing. I think it showed tonight that our team is willing to fight for each other, we’re willing to go out and play hard, and that it hasn’t distracted us from football.

How does it make you feel that you have veterans and military supporting you?

When I first had that sent to me and I saw that, it was something that really touched me, because they didn’t get lost in what it was portrayed as. They really heard me for what I was trying to do, and the fact that military veterans acknowledged that, it really meant a lot to me and it’s something that I want to be able to help them as well, because they are in need.

The socks that were worn did those not seem negative?

No, that was once again, we have cops that are murdering people. We have cops in the SFPD that are blatantly racist and those issues need to be addressed. I have uncles, I have friends who are cops and I have great respect for them, because they are doing it for the right reason and they genuinely want to protect and help people. That’s not the case with all cops, and the cops that are murdering people, and are racist, are putting other cops in danger, like my family, like my friends. That’s an issue that needs to be addressed.