Colin Kaepernick is a former NFL quarterback turned civil rights activist. He made headlines in 2016 when he kneeled during the national anthem in an attempt to call attention to issues of police brutality and racial inequality. His stance hurt his NFL career. But despite this, he has become an inspiration to many.
Kaepernick is now the subject of a new Netflix show about his life. The show reveals many glimpses of his life, especially how he was adopted by his parents. Here are some highlights of his life.
The former-NFL quarterback’s Childhood
Colin’s life was not smooth at all. Born on the 3rd of November, 1987, to Heidi Russo, her mother was only 19 when she birthed her child. Following his birth, his mum decided to put him up for adoption. At that time, Colin was only five weeks old. The identity of his biological father still remains under wraps.
Colin’s Adoptive Parents
A Wisconsin-based white couple, Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, adopted Colin. During the adoption, the couple already had two biological kids. In an interview, Colin even got candid about his relationship growing up with his parents and stated that he loves them from the bottom of his heart.
“You have a family that you love, but you know you don’t look like. And at a young age, I understood that I was different; I didn’t understand what that meant. So, as I got older, it was something that developed. As my identity developed and my place in society and my understanding of that developed, my parents and my family had developed as well,”
What Do his Parents Do?
Colin’s mother, Teresa Kaepernick, worked as a nurse during his childhood days. From the very beginning, she persistently stood up alongside her son. Colin once stated that his mother’s support made him comfortable with who he is.
His father, Rick Kaepernick used to work as the operations manager for the Hilmar Cheese Company. Both parents encouraged Colin to try different sports from his childhood, and pursue his dreams as a pro footballer.
To his parents, Colin is still a little child who they love and care for. In the docu-series, Colin described how he sometimes felt uncomfortable discussing his identity with his parents. He believed he needed a mentor to help him get comfortable and navigate. He also states that the love he received from his parents and family has been unparalleled.
What is Colin Kapernick’s Netflix Show About
The Netflix series, Colin in Black & White, is about the teen years and upbringing of the star. He narrates the drama series recounting his formative years navigating class, race, and culture while aspiring for greatness.
The show is narrated by Kapernick himself,while the actors Jaden Michael, Mary-Louise Parker, and Nick Offerman portray young Colin, Teresa, and Rick respectively. The show is a six-episode scripted series, and you can stream it on Netflix.
What Do his Siblings do?
Colin has a brother Kyle and a sister Devon. Despite having a high-profile brother, both siblings have stayed out of the spotlight. Not much information is available on them. According to a few reports, they reside in California, where the sister is raising two children of her own.
Things You Must Know About Colin Kapernick
He Has Written a Book
Colin has written a children’s book, I Color Myself Different. The book is based on his childhood as the adopted son of his white parents.
When he was 5, his school teacher gave him the assignment to draw a picture of himself with his family. Young Colin drew it with his brown crayon and changed the perspective of many, providing a valuable lesson on embracing and celebrating his black identity.
According to the publisher of this book, “I Color Myself Different is a joyful ode to Black and Brown lives based on real events in young Colin’s life that are perfect for every reader’s bookshelf. It’s a story of self-discovery, staying true to one’s self, and advocating for change even when you’re very little!
Colin Donated to the Black Lives Matter Movement
Kaepernick once donated one million dollars to the Black Lives Matter movement. The owner of the 49ers, Jed York, was also inspired by his donation that he also decided to donate a million to this cause.
A Man with a Noble Heart
Once upon a time, Kaepernick handed out his old suits to men leaving a parole office. He hoped the attire would make tasks such as interviewing for a job much less intimidating. He also ordered 15 boxes of pizza and delivered them to the 49ers’ media trailer.
Kaepernick has a Charity
Kaepernick has a charity called Kaepernick 7. The goal of the charity is to encourage people to donate. He once said he would donate one million dollars plus all the proceeds of his jersey sales from 2016 to organizations working in oppressed communities.
He also donated many shirts, books, and hats to shelter homes and orphanages.
Kaepernick’s Controversy in 2016
On the 1st of September, 2016, in the final 2016 preseason game of the 49ears, Colin opted to kneel during the US national anthem rather than sit as he did in the previous games.
The decision to kneel was an attempt to show more respect to the former and current US military members while still protesting during the anthem. In the next few weeks, his jersey became the highest-selling jersey.
His Protest Did Not Go Well
Following the protest, Colin has had trouble resigning to an NFL team. It came into notice in 2019 after he attended a public tryout. However, he was not drafted by anyone.
He defended his choice of kneeling and stated that it was bigger than football. He also highlighted that he would not stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.
After his statement, no team signed him as a free agent.
George Floyd’s Death Changed Many People’s Perspective towards him
Following the death of George Floyd, many people, including LeBron James, paid tribute to Colin. They supported his decision, and since then, he has become the face of the new civil rights movement.