Colin Kaepernick is known as much for his advocacy as his abilities on the football field. His commitment to social justice cost him his spot with the San Francisco 49ers. Now, he’s encouraging young readers to stand up for what they believe in with his new book, “Colin Kaepernick: Change the Game.” The graphic novel, co-written with Eve L. Ewing, is a memoir geared towards young readers ages 12 and up. And in a new interview with CBS News promoting the book, Kaepernick opens up about his struggle for self-awareness and whether or not he plans to return to football.
Here’s what we took away from the talk:
Kaepernick’s book is all about standing up for what you believe in. The book is written from the perspective of Kaepernick’s teenage self and tells the story of his journey to becoming someone willing to take a knee for justice. And as Kaepernick, who is biracial, began to learn to embrace his Blackness, he writes about the resistance he received, even by his white adoptive parents. Kaepernick recalls a time when he wanted cornrows, and his mom pushed back, calling the hairstyle “unprofessional” and that he would look like “a little thug.”
“I know my parents loved me, but there were still very problematic things that I went through. I think it was important to show, ‘No, this can happen in your own home.’ And how do we move forward collectively while addressing the racism that is being perpetuated?” he told CBS.
The former 49ers quarterback has not played in an NFL game since the 2016-2017 season. But Kapernick says he still has hopes of getting back on the field. When asked if he’d still like a second chance in the NFL, Kaepernick said, “absolutely.” The quarterback, who said he trains consistently 5 - 6 days per week, said he still has “the drive and the ability” to play in the NFL.
The CBS interview is the only television interview Kaepernick is doing for “Change the Game,” so it would be the perfect opportunity to set the record straight on any hearsay related to him or his career. But instead, he’’s making us all wait for the answers when the documentary he’s producing about his life with Spike Lee comes out later this year. Colin plead the fifth a few times when asked why he chose the moment he took the knee that would cost him his career, why didn’t attend the NFL-organized workout in 2019, and why he thought it took the 2020 murder of George Floyd to get the rest of the world to hear what he had been trying to tell us. Stay tuned.