As protests around the country against police brutality and systemic racism erupt once again, there has been a tone change surrounding Colin Kaepernick within the NFL. As stars from around the league have begun voicing their intentions to follow in Kaepernick’s footsteps and kneel in protest during the anthem this season, it seems the messaging — that, it should be noted, was always made clear by Kaepernick — is finally being recognized and understood by the rest of the league that allowed it to be hijacked and misconstrued as being anti-flag or anti-military.
That sea change seemed to take place when Drew Brees found himself in hot water with teammates, stars from around the league, and from the likes of LeBron James for trotting out the tired “disrespect the flag” line. Brees publicly backtracked and even went so far as to explain to Donald Trump how he had gotten it wrong after the president tried to insert himself once again into the situation. Stars from around the league then put pressure on Roger Goodell and the NFL to publicly condemn racism and voice their support for Black Lives Matter, which Goodell did and has since said he’d support a team signing Kaepernick.
Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but it seems that — unfortunately years too late — enough support internally for Kaepernick has pushed the league to change its tune, at least publicly, regarding the former star QB. While we wait to see if Kaepernick does indeed get his long deserved shot at resuming his career, we are set to learn a lot more about Kaepernick’s life and upbringing that led him to become the face of a movement and have such passion for activism.
On Monday, Netflix announced a limited, six-episode scripted series, “Colin in Black & White,” is on its way, narrated and executive produced by Kaepernick and written by Ava Duvernay and Michael Starrbury. The series will look at the experiences Kaepernick had in high school as a young Black man who had been adopted by a white family and lived in a predominantly white community.
“Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” said Kaepernick, via the Los Angeles Times. “We seek to give new perspective to the differing realities that Black people face. We explore the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years. It’s an honor to bring these stories to life in collaboration with Ava for the world to see.”
“With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture and for him, personally,” said DuVernay. “Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn’t be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix.”
There is no release date currently offered for the series, but it promises to provide a unique and, as Kaepernick mentioned, rarely offered look at race, racism, and the Black experience.