Colin Kaepernick on not voting: 'There's more than one way to create change'

ByNick Wagoner ESPN logo
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is well aware of how his decision not to participate in the recent presidential election while promoting a message of change has been received.

Asked Tuesday why he opted not to cast a vote for measures beyond the choice of a president, Kaepernick offered a familiar response in taking aim at the system and stating his belief that voting isn't the only way to make a difference.

"I thought a lot of different things about the process and what I could and couldn't do," Kaepernick said. "Once again, the system of oppression is what I have an issue with."

"There's more than one way to create change."

The Sacramento Bee reported this week that Kaepernick, who has knelt during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality and oppression all season, has actually never been registered to vote in California or in Nevada, where he attended college.

Kaepernick did not confirm that he's never been registered but again pointed to his feelings about the voting system when asked about not registering to vote now or in the past.

"Once again, I addressed that, I continue to address it, I don't agree with the system of oppression and that's something I will continue to not agree with," Kaepernick said.

In the run-up to the 2016 election, Kaepernick repeatedly made it clear he didn't approve of either President-elect Donald Trump or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. On Election Day, Kaepernick said he would not be voting and followed through on that promise.

On Wednesday, Kaepernick told Arizona reporters on a conference call that it "didn't matter" who won the election because neither candidate was a good choice.

On Sunday, Kaepernick said he felt it would be hypocritical for him to vote because it would be the equivalent of showing support for a system he doesn't believe in. He also said the choice of Trump should increase the urgency for everyone to work toward solutions to make the system better.

"I think everybody should feel urgency to make sure that we're doing the right thing, building things the right way in order to be able to protect ourselves from what may come from this," Kaepernick said.

When asked whether he believed the reason for so many no-shows to the voting booth were because many feel the same way as him, Kaepernick said he wasn't sure.

"You would have to ask them that," Kaepernick said. "I don't want to speak for anybody or put anybody in a situation where I am not representing them properly so I really can't say."

Kaepernick has previously pledged to donate $1 million and any proceeds from the sale of his jersey to groups that can help the causes he's working for and he recently held a "Know Your Rights" camp for kids in Oakland that provided guidance on a variety of topics, including education, fitness, money and interacting with law enforcement.