Colin Kaepernick is playing in a new arena.
The former NFL quarterback and activist announced that he’s releasing a memoir under his new publishing company, Kaepernick Publishing. The audio version of the memoir will be released through Audible under a multi-project collaboration with Kaepernick Publishing.
According to a news release, Kaepernick’s book, part political awakening and part memoir, will reveal the life experiences that led him to risk his career as a star NFL Super Bowl quarterback in one silent act of protest.
Kaepernick has remained unsigned by NFL teams since March 2017. During his last season with the San Francisco 49ers, he repeatedly knelt during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality faced by Black Americans and other people of color.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” said Kaepernick to NFL Media in 2016. “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.”
He continued: “This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
As coverage of his protests increased, Americans produced polarizing reactions. Many denounced his actions as disrespectful to armed forces and America.
An equivalent amount of people also supported him. Other athletes, including NFL players, began demonstrating the same protest.
Kaepernick decided to opt out of his contract in March 2017 seeking a better situation, but no offers came. The intensified ordeal led to Kaepernick filing a collusion grievance against the NFL in October 2017. The lawsuit settled out of court in February 2019.
Amid the suit, Kaepernick donated over one million dollars to multiple charities and organizations including the Mothers Against Police Brutality.
In 2018, Nike made Kaepernick the face of its 30th anniversary campaign for “Just Do It”. The fitting slogan was, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” And it was accompanied by a bold advertisement.
Kaepernick has now become a social symbol of activism which has solidified his celebrity. His status has led to several award show appearances and even musical artist name-drops. And now that status has led to him publishing his own narrative.
“I realized being able to control your narrative and tell your story the way you want to is very important,” said Kaepernick in an exclusive with USA Today. “The manipulation, the colonization, the distortion of stories, narrative, history, has been done forever. This is a way for me to be able to counteract that and begin to decolonize that and centralize the narrative of not only myself but other black and brown writers and authors.”
Kaepernick’s memoir’s title and release date have not been released.