Kaepernick will donate first million this season to community groups: 'I have to help these people'
Colin Kaepernick -- via Facebook

Colin Kaepernick will donate $1 million to community organizations to back his protest of systemic racism.

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback has sparked a days-long debate over race and First Amendment rights after explaining that he would not stand for the national anthem to protest police violence against black Americans.

He was joined Thursday night by teammate Eric Reid in kneeling during "The Star-Spangled Banner" performance at the start of a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers.

Their protest drew scattered boos and shouts, and Kaepernick said after the game that he would donate a portion of his salary this season to organizations that promote community justice, reported NBC News.

"I am planning to take it a step further, I'm currently working with organizations to be involved, and making sure 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," Kaepernick said.

The quarterback has a guaranteed $11.9 million salary this season, so he would pass the million-dollar mark by the second week of the NFL season.

"I've been very blessed to be in this position and make the kind of money I do, and I have to help these people," Kaepernick said. "I have to help these communities. It's not right that they're not put in the position to succeed, or given the opportunities to succeed."

He did not specify which organizations would receive donations.