- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 21, 2018

Colin Kaepernick entered the home stretch of his Million Dollar Pledge last week with a donation to one of Democratic moneyman George Soros’s favorite left-wing resistance groups.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback announced Thursday that his foundation would give $10,000 to the Advancement Project as part of his commitment to donate $1 million to organizations “working in oppressed communities.”

Advancement Project has another prominent funder: Mr. Soros, whose major philanthropies have given more than $9.5 million to the group since 1999, according to the conservative Capital Research Center.

With offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., Advancement Project describes itself as a “multi-racial civil rights organization,” but the group is best known for promoting “voting rights” by opposing initiatives such as photo ID requirements, voter-fraud investigations, and removing inactive voters from the rolls.

“They are the leading opponents of voter integrity,” said Scott Walter, president of the Capital Research Center (CRC).

The billionaire Soros has made grants to thousands of individuals and organizations through his Open Society Foundations, but Advancement Project ranked in the top 25 from 2009-14, along with Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and the Center for American Progress, according to the CRC.

Mr. Kaepernicksaid in a video that he selected Advancement Project at the suggestion of “Grey’s Anatomy” actor Jesse Williams, who sits on the organization’s board.

They each contributed $10,000 to be used for “police accountability,” including funding an “action camp” to train activists to “advocate at [the] community level for police reform,” as well as a video series about “policies that permit for unaccountable police departments and policy solutions.”

The Advancement Project had a $11.7 million budget in 2016, according to tax documents posted on GuideStar.

“From the beginning, we supported Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful #TakeAKnee protest, which underscored the need for police reform, a focus of our work,” said AP executive director Judith Browne Dianis in a statement. “This partnership is a perfect fit for the work we have been doing across the country supporting communities of color as they demand an end to unjust over-policing and over-criminalization.”

Mr. Kaepernick popularized the take-a-knee protests during the 2016 NFL season by kneeling instead of standing during the national anthem over the deaths of black men at the hands of police, but he failed to make a team roster in 2017.

Even so, other players continued to sit or kneel for the anthem, with nearly 200 protesting the weekend after President Trump suggested in September that team owners should fire those who refuse to stand.

The NFL saw its ratings decline by 9.7 percent in the 2017 season, which has been attributed in part to fan outrage over the protests.

Since launching his $1 million pledge in October 2016, Mr. Kaepernick has made grants to dozens of groups ranging from politically neutral charities such as Meals on Wheels to left-wing advocacy groups like 350.org and Assata’s Daughters, named after convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur.

Now down to his final $100,000, Mr. Kaepernick has teamed up with other celebrities to make matching $10,000 donations every day for 10 days.

Last week, he and the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry each gave $10,000 to United Playaz in San Francisco, while Mr. Kaepernick teamed up with another Warriors star, Kevin Durant, for $10,000 donations to Silicon Valley De-Bug in San Jose.

Advancement Project was one of a half-dozen social-justice groups that signed onto a Dec. 1 letter to the NFL asking for a meeting to discuss how the league should “meaningfully respond to the police shooting crisis gripping the country.”

“We would like to meet to discuss a set of comprehensive actions the NFL can take to address the issues that lie at the heart of the players’ longstanding protests,” said the letter.

Other signers included the NAACP, the Women’s March and Campaign Zero, led by Baltimore activist DeRay Mckesson.

Advancement Project, which has frequently criticized Mr. Trump and championed anti-Trump resistance efforts, also said it is circulating a petition to censure the president.


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