Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been a major influence
both on and off the field. He made headlines when he took a knee during the national
anthem back in August 2016. This was during a preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers.
Kaepernick’s NFL career was one cut short due to debatable circumstances. But since then his activism has garnered him attention from across the globe. In a recent Netflix show ‘Colin in Black and White’, key moments through Kaepernick’s life are showcased. We take a look at documentaries and series which have chronicled the life of Kaepernick.
Kaepernick is dubbed as the most influential athlete of the 21st Century for his impact
off the field rather than his on-field performance. Kaepernick revolutionized the Black
Lives Matter protests with his show of solidarity and inspired a large community to stand
up for their rights.
Colin in Black & White - Colin Kaepernick’s Netflix Series
‘Colin in Black & White’ is a Netflix fictionalized drama series on the life of Colin Kaepernick. The six episode series highlights the important events of Kaepernick’s life and gives you a closer look into what made him the person he is now.
The fictionalized docu-series available on Netflix, leaves out his NFL career and focuses on the drive of a teenage Colin, who wanted to become a quarterback. The series documents Kapernick’s life through the teenage years and his tryst with racism which led him to become an important activist against the instances of racism in his country. Colin Kaepernick is the narrator of the whole series. The storytelling format of the documentary has been dubbed as ‘clunky’ by critics at Rotten Tomatoes. However, the viewpoint of Kaepernick has been documented well enough to portray the image of a biracial kid growing up in a predominantly white world.
Colin Kaepernick’s Upcoming Documentary
Acclaimed movie director Spike Lee, announced in the beginning of 2022, that he is set to direct a documentary on the life of Colin Kaepernick. ESPN films announced on February 2, 2022 that the production for the multi-part documentary on Colin Kaepernick has already started. The project is a collaborative effort by the Walt Disney Company and Colin Kaepernick’s production company Ra-Vision.
Spike Lee is a trailblazing director who has won the Oscar for movies like ‘BlacKkKlansman’. He has even directed other docu-series on other athletes like Mike Tyson. Kaepernick has never given a first-person account of his journey before and the upcoming Kaepernick documentary is set to do exactly that. Spike Lee plans on using extensive interviews and never-before-seen footage in the documentary to accurately depict Colin’s perspective.
Colin Kaepernick’s role in Black Lives Matter
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and the people of color”. This was Kaepernick’s statement in an exclusive interview with the NFL media after the game with the Packers. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”.
Kaepernick took a stand for the protection of the civil rights of black people, joining athletes like NBA’s LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. Kaepernick had sat out during the national anthem for several games before his bow down the action was noticed in the game against the Packers. Taking the knee took the world by a storm and this action of solidarity spread across the world. The action was prominent during the Black Lives Matter protest in solidarity with the death of George Floyd due to police brutality.
Is Colin Kaepernick likely to be back in the NFL?
Colin Kaepernick opted out of a contract with the 49ers after the 2016 season and has since been a free agent. He spent the 2017 off-season unsigned, which led to allegations that his actions got him blackballed from the NFL.
In the 2022 NFL offseason, Kaepernick was seen training for the NFL and even shared training videos with Seattle Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett. There have been rumors about his return to the NFL but it remains unlikely.
Kapernick has been out of action since 2016 and his last season as a player was already dismal. NFL teams are on the lookout for young quarterbacks who are actively in the game even if they may not possess the natural ability of Kaepernick. Kaepernick has already been in and out of controversy with the NFL board and his lack of game time makes it unlikely for the quarterback to be back in the 2022 NFL season.
Life after NFL for Kaepernick
During Kaepernick’s last season (2016), his play had significantly dropped and his
Although statements are citing his protest as a reason for him to get blackballed from
the NFL, even his stats did not make a solid case for him to be signed as a starting
quarterback for any NFL team.
In 2016, Kaepernick and his partner Nessa Diab founded the “Know Your Rights Camp”, an
organization that helped disadvantaged youth to learn about their rights and empower
themselves. Kaepernick is a strong supporter of the abolition of police brutality and
prisons. He launched a project along with the online publishing platform ‘Medium’, titled
“Abolition for the People”. It is a collection of 30 essays by activists who discuss the
abolition of prisons and the systemic racism seen in prisons.