SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Colin Kaepernick is opening up about what compelled him to take action against police brutality and racism in America.

In a new interview with Paper Magazine,  the former 49ers quarterback says the killing of 26-year-old Mario Woods at the hands of San Francisco police officers was the incident that got him kneeling during the anthem and researching social injustice every chance he got.

Mario Woods’ mother says she’s overwhelmed that her son’s story hasn’t been forgotten.

“It was so overwhelming it was like ah! Somebody remembers, somebody remembers that day,” she said.

Dec. 2 2015 — the day Mario Woods was shot and killed by five San Francisco police officers. 

It was a day Mario’s mother Gwen feared many had forgotten, after she settled with the city for $400,000 earlier this year.

“I call this part of my life like the Judas moment where you take the 40 pieces of silver, you know, this is just my truth like I’m supposed to take this and go settle my soul,” she said.

But this week, she found out, not only is her son’s story remembered, it ignited Kaepernick’s decision to act against police brutality and racism. 

“It’s seeing a man put his money where his mouth was even though it wasn’t popular and it wasn’t comfortable and he took a lot of scrutiny, a lot of scrutiny,” she said. 

Tem months after Woods’ death, Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem for the first time, ultimately risking his career.

This week, in an article published by Paper Magazine, the former 49er said Woods’ execution “left him with feelings of loss, pain and anger” and coincided with his decision to protest and create his youth empowerment program know your rights camp

“Does it give me a little hope? That we’ve got somebody with a voice out there? That’s standing firm in their belief and their truth? Yeah it gives me hope,” Woods’ mother said. 

Woods says though her immense hurt for her son still remains, she wants to thank the 49er for keeping his story alive

“I hope he can see what Colin did for him. Oh I think that would totally blow his mind,” she said. “Someone cared enough to mention you Mario, and it was Colin Kaepernick. Someone cared enough to fight and lose money and endorsements. You were worth that kid. You were worth that.”