One of the most significant controversies in the history of the NFL was sparked when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling while playing the national anthem to protest racial inequality in 2016. Like free NFL picks, Kaepernick’s message has recently gained popularity, but his stance essentially killed his NFL career at the time.
The Netflix series, “Colin in Black and White,” which includes Kaepernick himself, will provide an understanding of a person of color in a predominantly white neighborhood and the events that influenced his stance.
Who is Colin Kaepernick?
Colin Rand Kaepernick is a football quarterback who is a free agent and an American Civil Rights Activist. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to a white mother and an African American Father of Ghanaian, Nigerian, and Ivorian Ancestry.
Kaepernick played college football for the Nevada Wolf Pack and earned the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Offensive Player of the Year twice award. He became the only player in NCAA Division I history to have a career with 10,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards.
Following graduation, he was selected in round two of the NFL Draft in 2011 by the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick began his professional football career as Alex Smith’s backup quarterback before taking over as the 49ers’ starting quarterback in the middle of the 2012 season after Smith suffered a concussion.
He then became the team’s starting quarterback for the remainder of the season, guiding them to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1994. During his first season as a starter in 2013, Kaepernick led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game.
As a protest against police brutality, racial injustice, and oppression in the country, Kaepernick sat during the United States national anthem before the game in 2016 rather than standing as is customary.
The following week, and for the remainder of the regular season, Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem. The protests drew sharply divided reactions, with some praising him and his anti-racism stance and others condemning them.
His protests drew renewed attention in 2020 amid the George Floyd demonstrations against police brutality and racism, but professional football teams still unsign him.
Colin In Black and White
Colin Kaepernick’s journey from high school to the NFL has been adapted for television as a new Netflix series.
The six-part series, directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th), with its script written by the Emmy-nominated Michael Starrbury, follows Kaepernick from his pivotal teenage years to becoming an NFL quarterback. It highlights the racial prejudices he encountered while becoming an NFL quarterback. The show features an all-star cast, including Kaepernick as the narrator.
The first episode begins with a close-up of his face as he addresses the viewer directly. What is the topic of discussion? The toxic power dynamics of pro football tryouts, complete with the degrading treatment of potential players who are likened to enslaved men on the auction block. It is not subtle—this series seeks to educate.
“Colin in Black and White” focuses on Kaepernick’s high school years as he comes into his own as a multi-talented athlete and his identity as a young, biracial Black man raised by two white adoptive parents. It also contextualizes Kaepernick’s recent rise to acclaim as an activist within a lifetime of rejecting expectations and challenging the status quo.
The series does not stop at situating Kaepernick’s activism within his own life but also the larger sociopolitical, ideological context of American history. Among the many historical icons woven into the series are Allen Iverson, Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s “Doll Test,” made famous by its role as the “father of hip-hop” Clive Campbell, aka DJ Kool Herc, and Brown v. Board of Education case.
The series director, Ava DuVernay, stated: “With his protest, Colin Kaepernick spurred a national conversation about justice and race with far-reaching consequences for football, culture, and him. Colin’s story says much about identity, sports, and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn’t be happier to tell this story with the team at Netflix.”