The offseason looks different for Colin Kaepernick. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is a new dad, involved in various media projects, runs a publishing company and is the man behind The Colin Kaepernick Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering black and brown youth.
He is also the author of a forthcoming book, Colin Kaepernick: Change the Game, which he co-wrote with Eve L. Ewing, a professor and sociologist at the University of Chicago.
Aimed at young adults, the graphic novel unveils the early years of Kaepernick’s life before he became a professional athlete and made headlines by taking a knee during the national anthem and sparking a movement within the NFL to protest police brutality and racial injustice .
“You know, very much like the message of the book is that I have no control over all these situations. But I control how I react to it, I control how I prepare for it and I believe that if you do that, good things will happen,” he said.
Kaepernick said he has always been, and still is, a relatively introverted person. He said his personality helps him navigate the world through difficult times, as he said he’s met opposition from people, including his white adoptive parents, when he tries to embrace his blackness.
Despite her love for him, Kaepernick said he’s encountered challenging situations that have led him to understand the importance of sharing that racism can occur in one’s home.
“I know my parents loved me, but there were still very troublesome things I went through. I think it was important to show, ‘No, this can happen in your own home.’ And how do we move forward together as we address enduring racism,” he said.
Kaepernick was known for his baseball skills in high school. The pitcher even had major league interests, but he defied public pressure and followed his heart to the gridiron.
“There were a lot more black people in football. I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve found a community here,'” he said.
Kaepernick began his professional football career in 2011 when he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, where he helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl in his freshman year as a starter.
However, his career came to a halt when in 2016 he decided to kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial injustice. He has since retired from the NFL and has become an activist and advocate for social justice issues. He said his upcoming Netflix documentary with director Spike Lee will go into more detail on why he chose to protest in this way.
In 2017, Colin Kaepernick sued the NFL, accusing team owners of kicking him out of the league because of his protests during the national anthem. They later settled and he didn’t.
Kaepernick, now 35, said that despite the time that has passed and how busy he is, he is looking forward to the day when he can return to the pitch.
“Five, six days a week, I still get up at 4:30 a.m. and go to the gym. Yes, that passion is still there and the ability is still there,” he said.