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Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers each pledged $1 million to charity.

The San Francisco 49ers pledged $1 million toward fighting racial inequality.

Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers each pledged $1 million to charity.

In August, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the subject of both praise and scorn for protesting racial injustice and police violence when he sat while the national anthem played before his team's game against the Green Bay Packers.

Kaepernick during Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.

The following week, after a discussion with former Green Beret Nat Boyer, Kaepernick took a knee while the anthem played. (Boyer suggested that it might be more respectful, and Kaepernick agreed.)

My Brother! United as One! @e_reid35


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Though sometimes framed as a "flag protest" or swipe at the U.S. military, that's hardly the case. Kaepernick has been clear about what he wants: a better America, one that lives up to the ideals that the flag is supposed to represent.

On Sept. 8th, the 49ers threw its support behind the quarterback in a big way — with a donation.

49ers CEO Jed York issued a statement saying that the 49ers Foundation, the team's charitable arm, will contribute $1 million to "the cause of improving racial and economic inequality and fostering communication and collaboration between law enforcement and the communities they serve here in the Bay Area."

The money will be going to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the San Francisco foundation.

This comes in addition to Kaepernick's personal pledge to donate $1 million of his 2016 salary to help underserved communities.

Some of the early criticism of Kaepernick's protest was that, as a multimillionaire, he either shouldn't be able to criticize anything in America (which is ridiculous) or that he should be using his wealth to make a difference off the field.

Seems critics forgot that he could both continue his silent protest and use his financial resources to improve the lives of others.

Kaepernick greets fans after a game against the Chargers. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.

Some continue to argue that this isn't the "right" way to go about protesting injustice or that's it's somehow not effective. The story that's followed, however, has shown just how wrong they are.

Soon after he began his protest, Kaepernick's jersey began rocketing up the sales chart on the NFL's team store as fans flocked to load up on gear in support of the 28-year-old.

On Instagram, Kaepernick wrote that he planned to donate all proceeds he receives from jersey sales back into local communities.

Another sign that his protest is working is the fact that other athletes are starting to join in.

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe took a knee as the anthem played prior to one of her games, 49ers safety Eric Reid joined Kaepernick in protest prior to the game against the Chargers, and Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall showed solidarity during the team's opening night game against the Carolina Panthers.

A successful protest isn't one that makes others feel comfortable. A successful protest isn't one that leaves the status quo in place. A successful protest won't leave you universally beloved.

Protesters show their support of Kaepernick. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Colin Kaepernick knows this. The others who join him know this. They continue on, anyway, and any way you measure it — attention brought to an issue, financial support toward a cause — it's clear they're winning.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less