Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick has announced plans to release a new memoir about his self-described ‘political awakening’ that prompted the controversial protests that he claims led to his banishment from the NFL.
‘Part political awakening and part memoir, Kaepernick’s 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,’ read a press release from Kaepernick Publishing, his new company.
‘My protest was the culmination of years of thought and experiences, of learning and unlearning,’ Kaepernick said in the release. ‘I want to tell the story of my evolution, and the events that led me to protest systemic oppression, in hopes that it will inspire others to rise in action.’
The Washington Post is reporting that the book is expected to be released this fall. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick (right) has announced plans to release a new memoir about his self-described ‘political awakening’ that prompted the controversial protests that he claims led to his banishment from the NFL
Colin Kaepernick spent Super Bowl Sunday February 2, 2020 not watching his former team, the San Francisco 49ers loose but helping feed the less fortunate at the SCO Family Shelter in Jamaica, Queens New York. Kaepernick also teamed up with Kevin Livingston, the head of the charity, 100 Suits for 100 Men and helped hand out donated business attire to underprivileged men and women
Kaepernick, 32, has been out of the NFL since March of 2017, when he opted out of his deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
He and former teammate Eric Reid filed separate grievances against the NFL, accusing league owners of keeping them out of the league in retaliation for the controversial protests. Both players settled their grievances for undisclosed amounts, but only Reid, a Carolina Panthers safety, has returned to the NFL.
The league did orchestrate a tryout for Kaepernick, but that was scuttled after he took issue with the liability waiver the NFL asked him to sign.
Sports Illustrated obtained a copy of the NFL’s waiver, and according to a piece on SI.com by attorney Michael McCann, the league was effectively asking Kaepernick to sign away his right to sue teams in the future, regardless of whether or not they participated in collusion.
He ultimately arranged for his own workout for a handful of teams instead.
Although Kaepernick was reportedly in great shape and showed good arm strength, he did not receive any offers from NFL teams, despite his experience guiding the 49ers to three NFC title games and a Super Bowl appearance.
He remains hopeful for an NFL comeback.
‘My desire to play football is still there,’ Kaepernick told USA Today. ‘I still train five days a week. I’m ready to go, I’m ready for a phone call, tryout, workout at any point in time. I’m still waiting on the owners and their partners to stop running from this situation. So I hope I get a call this offseason. I’ll be looking forward to it.’
Kaepernick says he still works out five times a week and remains hopeful for an NFL comeback
One of Kaepernick Publishing’s goals is to create ‘greater diversity and representation to literature and the spoken word,’ according to the release. As part of that effort, the budding publisher will offer ‘unprecedented ownership options’ with its collaborators.
Audible, Amazon’s audio book service, will release a spoken-word version of Kaepernick’s memoirs, and partner with the publishing house on other content.
Kaepernick chose to launch his own company rather than signing a lucrative book deal because his goal is to empower a group of writers who may not otherwise have such an opportunity.
The league did orchestrate a tryout for Kaepernick, but that was scuttled after he took issue with the waiver he was asked to sign, and ultimately arranged for his own workout for a handful of teams instead
‘It’s not just my control over stories,’ Kaepernick told USA Today. ‘We wanted to be able to put the power back into the hands of the people that are telling the stories and the people that are writing the stories and creating them.
‘We didn’t want to monopolize that and hold that to ourselves. It’s something that should be distributed to the people who are putting in the work to be able to tell their stories and tell them in a genuine and authentic way.’
Following the killings of many young African-American men by police, Kaepernick began protesting as a member of the San Francisco 49ers during the 2016 season, which turned out to be his final campaign in the NFL.
The protests continued into the 2017 and 2018 seasons, even as Kaepernick remained out of the league, and a handful of players were still kneeling during the anthem as recently as the 2019 campaign.
Amid intense criticism from conservatives and even President Donald Trump, Kaepernick has mostly avoided interviews, but is now breaking his silence with his new memoir.
‘I realized being able to control your narrative and tell your story the way you want to is very important,’ Kaepernick told 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.
‘One of the quotes that comes to mind is Malcolm X’s quote, ‘If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people that are being oppressed and loving the people that are doing the oppressing.’
‘He’s speaking to the control of the narrative,’ Kaepernick continued. ‘So for me recognizing the importance of our community being able to control our own narratives and tell our own stories, this is something I thought had to be the next steppingstone for us to properly address and identify not only how we view ourselves, view our communities and how we tell our stories but also giving the world to view us in the way that we want them to as well.’
Kaepernick chose to launch his own company rather than signing a lucrative book deal because his goal is to empower a group of writers who may not have such an opportunity