What Colin Kaepernick’s Philanthropy Tells Us About His Vision for Social Change in America

What Colin Kaepernick’s Philanthropy Tells Us About His Vision for Social Change in America

December 06, 2017 0 Comments


Kevin Livingston was driving home with his daughter when he received a random call one Saturday morning last April: Colin Kaepernick has something for you. How far away are you?

Written by Greg Bishop and Ben Baskin

Livingston runs a charity, 100 Suits for 100 Men, that provides business attire for job seekers who have recently been released from jail or suffered hardship, and after he dropped off his daughter, he raced to the Queens parole office, where he keeps a desk. Kaepernick was waiting for him in his SUV, where he’d been sitting for almost an hour. The QB stepped out wearing lime-green sneakers and a black T-shirt emblazoned with a panther, lugging two overstuffed cardboard boxes toward a glass door marked STAFF ONLY. He opened a box, pulled out a gray, custom-made three-piece suit, draped a striped tie over the jacket and posed for a few cellphone pics, flashing a smile. One of those photos became an Instagram post, and that post went viral.

The visit marked a rare public sighting for a man defined by contradictions: a quarterback, just four years removed from a Super Bowl appearance, who can’t land an NFL roster spot. An activist who has rarely spoken publicly. An athlete who ranks among the most divisive and socially conscious figures in sports. Anyone who wondered what Kaepernick had been up to caught a glimpse that day, but little more. No one saw what happened next.

Of the dozens of suits Kaepernick delivered—some new, some his own—the one in the photo wound up with 26-year-old Mario Lloyde, who had been living month-to-month with his girlfriend in a cramped Baltimore apartment, unable to get more than a temporary gig as a file clerk at a hospital or a cashier at a bookstore. “I was trying to get into real estate,” he says, “but I had to dress the part.” [read more…]