Thursday, June 13, 2024

Continuing the Mission – What is Colin Kaepernick Doing Now?

Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick – Photo by Kevin Winter/WireImage

*Former NFL player and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick knows what it feels like to straddle two worlds. His upbringing as a biracial kid adopted by white parents made him all too familiar with the struggles of fitting in.

However, fitting in isn’t always the solution, especially when it comes to doing the right thing. Was his unwillingness to fit in that drove Colin out of the football world? Where exactly is he today? What is Colin Kaepernick doing now? Let’s find out.

How It All Started

To stand against police brutality and systemic racism, the then-28-year-old NFLer remained seated during the national anthem in the 2016 NFL pre-season.

In an interview, he addressed: “I won’t stand up to show pride in a flag that oppresses Black people and people of color. For me, this is bigger than football.”

As the season progressed, more and more NFL team athletes joined Kaepernick, taking a knee during the national anthem before games. The most notable names are female football champion Megan Rapinoe, members of the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks, and his other 49ers teammates.

Colin’s peaceful protests ignited nationwide debate and received heavy criticism from right-wing media outlets. These sentiments were echoed by many political figures and Americans, saying the athletes had “no respect for the United States” and suggested they leave the country.

The backlash increased as the support swelled, so much that in 2017, Kaepernick was forced to end his contract with the 49ers. Since then, no team has hired the quarterback, and he filed a lawsuit against the NFL, citing team owners were conspiring to keep him unsigned because of his politics.

They later settled the grievance, and he hasn’t played since. Kaepernick, now 35, said that regardless of how much time has passed and how he keeps himself busy, he’s eyeing his NFL return in the future.

“Five, six days a week I’m still up at 4:30, I go get my training in. Yeah, that passion is still there, and the ability is still there,” he stated.

Colin kaepernick - audible

What Is Colin Kaepernick Doing Now?

With football nearly out of the picture, Kaepernick has dominated the headlines due to his persistence. From the NFL to Nike, Netflix, and beyond, he has done pretty well for himself in the post-NFL world.

The Colin Kaepernick Foundation

Kaepernick has become the face of the new civil rights movement. Since leaving the turf, the former San Francisco 49ers star has made spreading his message of social activism the main focus.

In the course of the movement, he established a non-profit organization, the Colin Kaepernick Foundation, with the primary focus of fighting oppression through social activism and education.

The hallmark component of the organization has been the Million Dollar Pledge, a program in which Kaepernick donated $1 million and gifts to a dozen charities, including Youth Services, School on Wheels, and Mothers Against Police Brutality.

Moreover, the organization fully funds the Know Your Rights Camp, a campaign for youth to raise awareness on self-empowerment, higher education, and interaction with law enforcement.

Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick

The Colin Kaepernick Foundation continues to find charitable partners and grassroots methods to combat racial injustice and invigorate its message across the country.

Nike’s “Dream Crazy” Advert

Partaking in campaigns that support his cause is another interest of Kaepernick. The most prominent one was his collaboration with Nike for their ‘Dream Crazy’ commercial in September 2018.

The ad was released in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and featured various other active Black social athletes, including LeBron James and Serena Williams.

The main slogan of this commercial, following Kaepernick’s bold decisions during the NFL season, was to “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything, just do it.”

While Nike’s advert initially caused uproar amongst Americans and received criticism from people like Donald Trump, it was a massive success in the long run.

The ad won the award at the Creative Arts Emmys for outstanding commercial, raised the quarterly company sales by a record high of 10%, and is expected to earn Kaepernick millions from the endorsement deal.

Colin in Black and White

To add to his list of various endeavors, in October 2021, Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay’s co-created series,  Colin in Black and White, premiered on Netflix.

This limited six-episode series is a mix of an autobiography of Kaepernick’s teenage years in a white family and a social commentary focusing on the prevalent history of racism in professional sports.

The series feels sentimental and powerful, leaving a long-lasting impact on the viewers to call for immediate action. Netflix paid Kaepernick an estimated $10 million for his moving voice-over narration and direction.

Kaepernick Publishing

In hopes of empowering the newest generation and providing a platform to Black writers, Colin Kaepernick founded Kaepernick Publishing in 2019.

Colin Kaepernick publishing
Colin Kaepernick publishing

The publishing house aims to amplify the voices and views of diverse creators and inspire future generations with their shared experiences. It has collaborated with Scholastic for books written by Black and Brown writers.

Kaepernick has shown love for literature and written a children’s graphic novel titled I Color Myself Different from the perspective of his teenage self.

The book was the New York Times Bestseller and had impressive debuts on USA Today’s weekly charts. He also plans on releasing a poetic anthem alongside Nessa Diab called We Are Free: You and Me in 2024.

What Does the Future Hold for Colin Kaepernick?

Suffice it to say, Colin Kaepernick has been keeping himself occupied by taking on various projects, all of which have one common purpose: to inspire and work towards a racially equal country.

His bold decision to kneel during the NFL season was just the first of many contributions in solidarity with the Black community. As for now, Kaepernick continues to serve as an inspiration for many across the globe, and his relentless work as a social advocate only helps him garner a more significant following.

Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick

Kapernick’s ever-growing success, despite his abrupt departure from the National Football League, serves as a constant reminder that things end up working out as long as your heart and morals are in the right place.

RELATED NEWS ON EURWEB: Life Beyond Football: Colin Kaepernick Family Life and Values

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