Dutch schemes must increase transparency on appointments, outsourcing

first_imgThe researchers noted that schemes have already applied a large number of the norms, including providing insight into costs, policy choices, risk management and board performance.However, pension funds hardly gave information on agreements with providers, remuneration policy or arrangements for whisteblowers, they said. The same went for the regular evaluation of actuary and accountant.Ecorys also found that the most annual reports were also not clear about the procedure for the appointment of trustees and members of the supervisory board, and lacked clarity about the role of the scheme’s board and other organs within the pension fund for appointments.In the opinion of the monitoring committee, most pension funds were inadequate in indicating the current diversity of representation, or how they intended to improve any imbalance.The researchers further noted that many pension funds failed to provide a clear definition of some standards, and also recommended including reports of, for example, their accountability organ and their compliance officer in their annual report.The code is meant to improve governance, and has legal been underpinned by legislation since 1 July 2014.The code has succeeded the principles for proper pension fund governance, which were formulated by the StAr in 2005.For more on pensions in the Netherlands, see the upcoming March issue of IPE Pension funds must provide more information about outsourcing and procedures for appointments in their annual report, the monitoring committee for the code for pension funds has indicated.In its first evaluation of the application of the code, which came into force in 2014 after a joint effort by the Pension Federation and the Labour Foundation (StAr), the committee also suggested that schemes should give more clarity on subjects such as the suitability of board members and diversity of representation.The committee has drawn its conclusions on the findings of research bureau Ecorys, which had checked 222 annual reports over 2013 for 34 of the 83 standards of the protocol.The committee’s zero measurement focused on whether and how pension funds are dealing with the themes, it said.last_img read more

One killed after vehicle hit by train in West Palm Beach

first_imgFriday evening, a person was killed after driving their car was hit by a Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) train, according to West Palm Beach police.Police say a 2008 black Corvette was traveling west and stopped for the train crossing along Avon Road when a southbound train passed and the gate arms remained down.The driver of the vehicle tried to go around the gates and a northbound train crashed into the car, police said.The name of the person killed has not been released at this time.This story is developing.last_img

Crucial match for Pocari

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award PH Azkals open 2018 Suzuki Cup bid with 1-0 win over Singapore Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college The Lady Warriors are at fifth behind PetroGazz (6-5) with Tacloban also staying in the semifinal race at 5-7, making the three teams’ remaining matches must-win games.Creamline, meanwhile, is expected to lean on Alyssa Valdez againsy Iriga.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss LATEST STORIEScenter_img Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Pocari-Air Force is faced with a must-win stand against BanKo-Perlas on Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre.Creamline, meanwhile, guns for the second semifinal seat against Iriga-Navy in the other game.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Chelsea’s top four bid in tatters as Huddersfield survive

first_imgFifth placed Chelsea’s attempt to salvage a troubled season by finishing in the top four is now out of their hands heading into the final game of the season at Newcastle on Sunday.Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Newcastle on Wednesday means Chelsea can’t make up the four-point gap to their third placed London rivals.Fourth placed Liverpool are two points ahead of Chelsea and, given their vastly superior goal difference, they will condemn the Blues to the Europa League next season if they avoid defeat against Brighton at Anfield on Sunday.That would be a suitably downbeat conclusion to a lacklustre title defence from Chelsea and could prove the last straw for Blues owner Roman Abramovich as he reportedly plans to part ways with Conte.Conte appears set to leave after just two years in charge following a contentious campaign marred by the Italian’s feud with the Chelsea hierarchy over their failure to back his transfer plans.The 48-year-old, who has one year left on his contract, has seen a host of leading managers linked with his job in recent weeks and added fuel to the fire this week when he said his future would be revealed after the FA Cup final against Manchester United on May 19.Time to celebrate: Huddersfield Town coach David Wagner and his assistant Christoph Buhler celebrate survival© AFP Ben STANSALLHuddersfield’s reward for a tenacious display is another season among English football’s elite after a superb result that seals their safety with a game in spare.Fresh from their impressive 0-0 draw at champions Manchester City on Sunday, Huddersfield boss David Wagner had urged his players “to make an impossible task possible” by sealing their top-flight status at the Bridge.Wagner’s side rose to the challenge with a heroic effort that earns them an unexpected second season among the elite.In what could be Conte’s final home match, he made six changes to the side that beat Champions League finalists Liverpool 1-0 on Sunday, with Olivier Giroud and Eden Hazard surprisingly left on the bench.It was a gamble that backfired.Antonio Rudiger produced a candidate for miss of the season as the Chelsea defender somehow shot wide from virtually on the goal-line.– Fighting for survival –Alvaro Morata has endured a miserable first season with Chelsea and the misfiring Spain striker wasted a golden opportunity when he took a heavy touch as he rounded Jonas Lossl and could only cross harmlessly from a tight angle.As the tension mounted, referee Lee Mason infuriated Chelsea when he blew for half-time without allowing them to take a corner he had awarded seconds earlier, provoking several players to angrily surround the official.If that was a symbol of Chelsea’s frustration, there was worse to come after the interval.Rudiger headed wastefully over from Willian’s free-kick, then Huddersfield took the lead with their first serious attack in the 50th minute.When Aaron Mooy played a pass over the top of the Chelsea defence, Blues goalkeeper Willy Caballero came rushing to the edge of the area in a bid to clear.But Depoitre beat Caballero to the ball and in the process left him sprawled on the turf, giving the Belgian striker time to clip his shot past Rudiger for his first goal since December.Conte responded by sending on Giroud and Hazard and Chelsea grabbed a bizarre equaliser in the 62nd minute.Azpilicueta drilled over a low cross that prompted a panicked clearance from Mathias Zanka and the ball hit Alonso in the face before rebounding into the Huddersfield net.Conte’s side to laid siege to the Huddersfield goal.But the visitors, fighting for survival, threw their bodies in the way time and again before Lossl superbly pushed Andreas Christensen’s header onto the post.No wonder Conte held his head in his hands.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl is mobbed by team-mates after a string of fine saves kept the scoreline level. Photo/COURTESYLONDON, United Kingdom, May 9 – Chelsea’s bid to qualify for the Champions League suffered a hammer blow as Huddersfield secured their Premier League survival with a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.Antonio Conte’s side fell behind to Laurent Depoitre’s second half strike and although Marcos Alonso bagged a fortuitous equaliser, the Blues couldn’t find a priceless winner.last_img read more

Pistons, 111, Warriors, 102: Stephen Curry’s return doesn’t solve everything

first_imgDETROIT — Three weeks and eleven games later, the Warriors finally welcomed back Stephen Curry back onto the court.As the Warriors experienced in their 111-102 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Saturday, however, they did not enjoy the usual benefits that coincide with Curry’s presence. Instead, the Warriors (15-9) started a two-game losing streak for the second time this season.After rehabbing his strained left groin since injuring it on Nov. 8, Curry finished with 27 points, while shooting …last_img

Blame Hiccups on Your Inner Fish

first_imgWhy do humans get hernias and hiccups?  Neil Shubin says it’s because of your inner fish.  In the Scientific American series on Darwin, the discoverer of Tiktaalik was trying to show how evolutionary theory sheds light on human anatomy.  He looked back to fish and amphibians and found insight.    “A glimpse inside the body reveals structures left inside of us during the course of evolution, which often seem a confused jumble, with arteries, nerves and other structures taking odd paths to get from one part of the body to another,” he said.  “….To make sense of our own bodies, we need to examine the history we share with everything from microbes and worms to fish and primates.”  In search for clues from “our fishy past and our mammalian present,” he pointed to gonads and nerves for the diaphragm that made more sense in fish anatomy.  Believing that existing patterns were adapted by evolution to changes in the primate body, he claimed that they wouldn’t have been designed this way from scratch, any more than a rewiring job in a building. Our deep history was, at different times, spent in ancient oceans, small streams and savanna plains—and not office buildings, ski slopes or football fields.  This extraordinary disconnect between our past and present means that our body falls apart in certain predictable ways.  The major bones in human knees, backs and wrists arose in aquatic creatures hundreds of millions of years ago.  Is it any surprise, then, that we tear cartilage in our knees and suffer back pain as we walk on two legs or develop carpal tunnel syndrome as we type, knit or write?  Our fish and amphibian ancestors did not do these things.    Take the body plan of a fish, modify it using genes altered from those that build the body of a worm, dress it up to be a mammal, then tweak and twist that mammal to make a creature that walks upright, talks, thinks and has superfine control of its fingers, and we have a recipe for disaster.  We can dress up this fish only so much before paying a price.  In a perfectly designed world—one without an extended historic legacy—we would not have to suffer from the infirmities of hemorrhoids or hernias.  Nor would our buildings be so expensive to renovate.Shubin did not inventory fish maladies, or inquire whether Methuselah ever got a hernia after living 200 times longer than a fish.  His hypothesis seems to suggest that evolution is regressive.  Following his reasoning, the best-designed animals were the earliest ones.  Bad design has led to more maladies the higher one evolves up Darwin’s tree of life.  Maybe natural selection should have left well enough alone and not invented a Shawn Johnson or Michael Phelps.  It terms of design, it’s been all downhill since those happy days under the sea.We can’t help but award multiple SEQOTW prizes this week, with all the contestants vying for attention in Scientific American’s Darwin Extravaganza.  We may have to go to SEQOTD.  Please notice; we don’t laugh at the Darwinists out of some perverse sense of satisfaction at irritating them.  We know they hate being laughed it.  We just can’t help it.  We laugh because they really are funny.  Let’s all sing like the fishies sing:Adaptation always seems better in landlubber’s four-limbed physiqueYou dream of evolving up yonder, but that is a faulty mystique.Just look at the world around you, right here on the ocean floor;Such wonderful things surround you; what more is you lookin’ for?Under the sea, Under the sea, Darwin, it’s better down where it’s wetter, take it from me. Up on the shore they walk on all fours, out in the sun they sweat in they chores, While we is a-breedin’ in de Garden of Eden under the sea.Down here all the fish is happy, as off through the waves they squirts;The man in the office got hiccups, he sad ’cause his hernia hurts.But man in the jungle ain’ lucky, he in for a worser fate;One day when tiger get hungry, guess who’s gon’ be on de plate.Under the sea, Under the sea, That’s why it’s hotter under the water Ya we in luck here down in the muck here Under the sea. They take themselves so seriously – that’s what makes this so much fun.  Thank you, Neil, and all the Scientific American staff, for giving us one of the best comedy acts [hic] in a long time.  OK, we’ll get serious.  See?  We’re serious.  (chortle) (sniff) (snicker)  Honest!  (guffaw)  Sorry.  (pause, deep breath) (snort) (giggle) (choke)  We in luck here down in the muck here, under the sea… Yeeeee, HAW!(Visited 65 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The treevolution has begun

first_imgOn school planting days, 20 pupils, teachers and Greenpop workers get planting together. The Greenpop members give students an outdoor lesson on the importance of trees, global warming, food security, beauty, biodiversity and water recycling. Greenpop’s founding members Misha Teasdale, Lauren O’Donnell and Jeremy Hewitt.(Images: Greenpop)MEDIA CONTACTS • Lauren O’Donnell Co-founderGreenpop+ 27 21 461 9265RELATED ARTICLES• SA protects its national trees• Planting trees in Zambia• Plant trees in Uganda, earn money• Adopt a tree in Africa• Using exotic woods to tackle poverty• Green charcoal to save forests• Kyoto Protocol extended at COP17Cadine PillayCape Town-based Greenpop has been planting trees for the past two years on behalf of companies, individuals and tourists, giving them the chance to invest in a greener future, improve communities in under-greened areas or compensate for their carbon footprint.The social enterprise identifies places in need of trees, such as under-resourced schools or deforested areas. The trees are donated by individuals and companies and at no cost, Greenpop plants the trees in an effort to spread environmental awareness, uplift under-greened communities and combat climate change.Instilling a green consciousnessGreenpop co-founder Lauren O’Donnell says the organisation sets out to prove that greening and sustainable living can be fun, popular and accessible. “Our objectives are to uplift communities, green urban and rural areas, create environmental awareness, combat climate change and make greening fun and popular so that a greener, more conscious movement is inspired,” she explains.“We believe in inspiring a greener, more conscious, inclusive movement and do this through tree-planting projects, green events, education, social media, volunteerism, and activating people to start doing.”Branching outInitially planned as a month-long volunteering project, Greenpop started planting trees in September 2010 in schools, crèches, orphanages, old age homes and community centres, as well as in deforested areas. But it grew from a whim to a formal enterprise after its founding members, O’Donnell, Misha Teasdale and Jeremy Hewitt, realised that 30 days spent planting 1 000 trees was simply not enough.“It just felt so unsustainable to stop; plus, our phones wouldn’t stop ringing. Principals were calling us and asking for trees for their schools, and companies were phoning trying to figure out how they could get involved,” O’Donnell recounts.Fast-forward to the present: over 17 000 trees at over 200 locations, over 200 beneficiary organisations and 100 500 people benefitting, and you find the grassroots initiative starting to dig deeper into its work.School planting daysOn school planting days, 20 pupils, teachers and Greenpop workers get planting together. The Greenpop members start with an outdoor lesson on the importance of trees, global warming, food security, beauty, biodiversity and water recycling.Then there is a detailed planting demonstration and then everyone is split into teams to plant, get their hands dirty and have fun while learning about how valuable and important trees are.Afterwards, Greenpop talks the school through its grey water system, in which classes are assigned trees to maintain and water. Three times a week, each pupil brings in a two-litre recycled plastic bottle filled with their used bath or dish water from home to water their specific trees.While this saves the school’s water, it mainly empowers the children to take responsibility for their trees and ensures the trees do not get thirsty.Giving back to the communityO’Donnell says school planting days also make great team building activities for companies. “These days allow companies to interact with and give back to communities in need, green schools, benefit from the marketing opportunities, and contribute towards a greener, brighter future for South Africa,” she adds.“The pledgee companies support our sustainability programme and pledge trees every month. We plant these trees at our schools and send feedback and photos to them on a regular basis.”In addition, people can donate trees every month; they will get a certificate with the GPS co-ordinates of where their trees are growing.Bridging the Green DivideGreenpop connects people with nature, but also with each other. O’Donnell believes social bridging is fundamental to the group’s ethos, and Greenpop stands by the belief that its work has the potential to create further opportunities for everyone involved. “We found some interesting studies that show how urban greening can help improve the economics of an area and can socially uplift a space.“Degradation of neighbourhoods worsens poor social cohesion, crime, drug abuse and environmental downfall. Urban greening has been closely linked to reductions in these social problems.”In Cape Town, she explains, there is a massive divide between the “leafy suburbs” – so-called because they have trees and money – and suburbs that are not that beautiful and do not have that many trees.However, this issue is not confined to Cape Town but is seen around the world and elsewhere in South Africa – Johannesburg’s City Parks’ started a campaign called ‘Bridging the Green Divide’, a programme to overcome greening disparities in the city.The campaign focuses on complementing the new parks that have been developed in Johannesburg; the restoration of conservation areas; the beautification of road islands and the planting of trees.Already 200 000 trees have been planted in the south of the city, which was left dry and dusty because of apartheid spatial planning, compared to the lush, green, treed north.Even though South Africa is plagued by issues related to basic survival, like access to health care and clean water, O’Donnell believes environmental initiatives still hold value, and may even have the ability to pave the way to plausible solutions for more pressing problems.Trees for ZambiaIn 2012, Greenpop launched Trees for Zambia, a reforestation and eco-awareness project that began with a three-week tree planting. This was followed by an on-going campaign to grow awareness about deforestation, climate change, tree planting, environmental sustainability, and alternative energy sources.“Zambia has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world,” she says. “In three weeks, and in partnership with local authorities and NGOs, we planted 4 135 trees with 200 volunteers from Zambia and around the world, and 21 schools received trees and a fun-filled day of tree planting, education and seed propagation with pupils.”Greenpop will be back in Zambia this year for its second event, Trees for Zambia 2013, to boost its work and plant more than 5 000 trees in schools, on subsistence farms and at reforestation sites.last_img read more

The Hip-Hop Word Count Counts on Language to Understand the Reality We Keep

first_img4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Tags:#Data Services#music#web 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…,In much the same way our bones absorb trace chemicals that can tell future scientists about the environment we lived in, our music absorbs cultural influences, social memes, worries and joys that are in the air at the moment of its creation. Tahir Hemphill, a designer, technologist and longtime student of hip-hop, wants to hasten our understanding of how music does that with The Hip-Hop Word Count.This “searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day…generates textual and quantified reports on searched phrases, syntax, memes and socio-political ideas.”“How can analyzing lyrics teach us about our culture?”Tahir, a resident at Eyebeam Art+Technology Center, where the Hip-Hop Word Count is being developed, asked that question of himself, and answered it. “The Hip-Hop Word Count locks in a time and geographic location for every metaphor, simile, cultural reference, phrase, meme and socio-political idea used in the corpus of Hip-Hop.The Hip-Hop Word Count then converts this data into explorable visualisations which help us to comprehend this vast set of cultural data.This data can be used to chart the migration of ideas and builds a geography of language and is the engine for a teaching curriculum.”In other words, want to find out who the most latinate rappers are? The most monosyllabic? What the most popular champagne was in a given period? Which region produced rappers who name-checked the most? Which time period was the most concerned with social issues or consumer goods? Search the database. The database contains metadata as well as data. The metadata per lyric includes number of words, average number of words per line and characters per word, reading-level of lyrics from junior high to post-grad and geolocation of rapper. Funding for Future PhasesHip-Hop Word Count is seeking its next stage capital via the crowdsourced funding site Kickstarter. But this isn’t Tahir’s first rodeo. He’s a long-term fan steeped in the sounds of his native New York. Through his umbrella group Staple Crops, and also under the auspices of Eyebeam, he is also conducting a series of Rap Research Groups.The RRGs are “lively and casually moderated discussions between Rap enthusiasts, historians, creative technologists, cultural critics, linguists, teachers, MC’s and academics.” As of this writing, the Hip-Hop Word Count has reached a funding of $4,376 out of $7,500 needed. The money will go to paying for the coding and design and finishing both, as well as database clean-up and hosting. The end-date of the funding is 24 days from today. Hip-Hop Data In a conversation, Tahir said the initial tool will be free and accessible to everyone, non-monetized, with an API available. His initial work has drawn the attention, in addition to the music’s enthusiasts, academics. Professors have expressed an interest in using such a database for sociological and linguistic research. Tahir himself has begun to develop curricula for mathematics and language arts based on the database and its lyrics. He has also begun strategizing the kind of reports that could be profitably drawn from a growing Hip-Hop Word Count. “I have a data set of unemployment figures between 1980 and 2010. I’m pulling references, slang references, to money. You know, ‘cream,’ ‘cash,’ ‘guacamole.’ There may be a correlation between (the way these terms are used) and the situation.”You could imagine the money – I beg your pardon, the “scrillah,” the “cheese,” the “scratch” – a label, for instance, might be willing to pay for a study that linked certain types of language use with up-times and down-times. Tahir, an arts and sciences polymath with an advertising resume, acknowledges this, but says “I can’t zoom out that far these days.” We’ll see what happens when the Word Count is up and running in a public sphere. Rap Research photo courtesy of Eyebeam Related Posts 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Tags:#Data Services#music#web 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout curt hopkins 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… curt hopkins 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App In much the same way our bones absorb trace chemicals that can tell future scientists about the environment we lived in, our music absorbs cultural influences, social memes, worries and joys that are in the air at the moment of its creation. Tahir Hemphill, a designer, technologist and longtime student of hip-hop, wants to hasten our understanding of how music does that with The Hip-Hop Word Count.This “searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day…generates textual and quantified reports on searched phrases, syntax, memes and socio-political ideas.”“How can analyzing lyrics teach us about our culture?”Tahir, a resident at Eyebeam Art+Technology Center, where the Hip-Hop Word Count is being developed, asked that question of himself, and answered it. “The Hip-Hop Word Count locks in a time and geographic location for every metaphor, simile, cultural reference, phrase, meme and socio-political idea used in the corpus of Hip-Hop.The Hip-Hop Word Count then converts this data into explorable visualisations which help us to comprehend this vast set of cultural data.This data can be used to chart the migration of ideas and builds a geography of language and is the engine for a teaching curriculum.”In other words, want to find out who the most latinate rappers are? The most monosyllabic? What the most popular champagne was in a given period? Which region produced rappers who name-checked the most? Which time period was the most concerned with social issues or consumer goods? Search the database. The database contains metadata as well as data. The metadata per lyric includes number of words, average number of words per line and characters per word, reading-level of lyrics from junior high to post-grad and geolocation of rapper. Funding for Future PhasesHip-Hop Word Count is seeking its next stage capital via the crowdsourced funding site Kickstarter. But this isn’t Tahir’s first rodeo. He’s a long-term fan steeped in the sounds of his native New York. Through his umbrella group Staple Crops, and also under the auspices of Eyebeam, he is also conducting a series of Rap Research Groups.The RRGs are “lively and casually moderated discussions between Rap enthusiasts, historians, creative technologists, cultural critics, linguists, teachers, MC’s and academics.” As of this writing, the Hip-Hop Word Count has reached a funding of $4,376 out of $7,500 needed. The money will go to paying for the coding and design and finishing both, as well as database clean-up and hosting. The end-date of the funding is 24 days from today. Hip-Hop Data In a conversation, Tahir said the initial tool will be free and accessible to everyone, non-monetized, with an API available. His initial work has drawn the attention, in addition to the music’s enthusiasts, academics. Professors have expressed an interest in using such a database for sociological and linguistic research. Tahir himself has begun to develop curricula for mathematics and language arts based on the database and its lyrics. He has also begun strategizing the kind of reports that could be profitably drawn from a growing Hip-Hop Word Count. “I have a data set of unemployment figures between 1980 and 2010. I’m pulling references, slang references, to money. You know, ‘cream,’ ‘cash,’ ‘guacamole.’ There may be a correlation between (the way these terms are used) and the situation.”You could imagine the money – I beg your pardon, the “scrillah,” the “cheese,” the “scratch” – a label, for instance, might be willing to pay for a study that linked certain types of language use with up-times and down-times. Tahir, an arts and sciences polymath with an advertising resume, acknowledges this, but says “I can’t zoom out that far these days.” We’ll see what happens when the Word Count is up and running in a public sphere. Rap Research photo courtesy of Eyebeamlast_img read more

Colin Kaepernicks Parents Truly Shocked by the Racist Hatred

Colin Kaepernick (Facebook)After Colin Kaepernick’s birth mother condemned him for protesting the national anthem in August, the San Fransisco 49ers quarterback’s adoptive parents revealed they fully support their son. Atlanta Black Star reported Heidi Russo, the athlete’s biological mother, declared Kaepernick could “make change without disrespecting and bringing shame” to the nation. But unlike Russo, Teresa and Rick Kaepernick are ending their months-long silence to back the star.According to a statement the couple issued to The Undefeated, the Kaepernicks felt compelled to publicly back the NFLer after continuing to read that they don’t support their son. The move was capped by U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry Harris’ statements dissing Kaepernick indirectly during a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor’s attack.“You can bet that the men and women we honor today — and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago — never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played,” Harris said.Regardless, the Kaepernicks stand behind their famous son.“We want people to know that we are very proud of our son and admire his strength and courage in kneeling for the rights of others,” the statement read in part after acknowledging Kaepernick is risking his life and career in the process.“Colin has chosen to kneel for the national anthem as a protest to the continuing racial inequality in this country,” the statement continued. “He has explained his reasons for this in multiple interviews, yet it seems some people still do not understand his point. For whatever reason, there are some who want to view this as an anti-military protest or an un-American stance. These views could not be further from the truth, but we know that people will believe what they wish to believe.”Such detractors include sports commentators like Fox’s Jason Whitlock and athletes like Shaquille O’Neal. Although Kaepernick’s parents didn’t understand his protest at first and felt “overwhelmed with the public reaction and hate,” they learned a major lesson about racism in America.“We were truly shocked at the amount of racist hatred out there!” the statement said. “Until this had occurred, we had naively believed that the racial atmosphere in this country was far better than it actually is. Prayer and talks with our son gave us a much better understanding of the reason for his protest and how we should view it.” read more