Colin Rand Kaepernick, born November 3, 1987, better known as Colin Kaepernick, is an American civil rights activist and former football quarterback. He played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League (NFL).
Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to an African-American (of Ghanaian, Nigerian, and Ivorian ancestry) and Heidi Russo, a white woman.
In 2016, Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem at the start of NFL games in protest of police brutality and racial inequality in the United States.
Early Life and Education
Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father is an African-American. of the Ghanaian, Nigerian, and Ivorian ancestry whose identity is not disclosed while the mother is Heidi Russo, a white woman.
His parents separated before he was born and his mother Russo placed him for adoption at 5 weeks old. He was placed with a white couple named Rick and Teresa Kaeparnick, who had two biological children, a son Kyle and daughter Devon.
He lived in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, when his family moved to California during when he was 4-year-old. He began playing youth football at the age of eight, playing as a defensive end and punter.
Despite what he passed through, Kaepernick attended John H. Pitman High School in Turlock, California. During his school days, Kaepernick played football, basketball and baseball and was nominated for all-state selection in all three sports his senior year.
Kaepernick maintained a 4.0 grade point average during while he was in the college and graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in business management.
Kaepernick began his career as a child while he was still in school, he took his football serious and participated in college football. He was offered a football scholarship by the University of Nevada, Reno and he signed with Nevada in February 2006.
He took his career professionally in 2007 with the Wolf Pack, playing as a back-up quarterback, in 11 of the team’s 13 games and finished the season with 19 passing touchdowns, three interceptions and 2,175 passing yards, garnering a 53.8% completion percentage.
On April 29, 2011, the San Francisco 49ers traded up with the Denver Broncos from the thirteenth pick in the second round (45th overall) and Kaepernick was selected as the fourth pick in the second round (36th overall) at the 2011 NFL Draft. The Broncos later received picks 45, 108, and 141 overall in exchange for the 36th overall pick.
Colin Kaepernick is an activist who was actively on social media in July 2016 after shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the police shooting of Charles Kinsey with the acquittal of police in the death of Freddie Gray.
In the 49ers third preseason game of the season, Kaepernick was sitting down during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner”, as opposed to the tradition of standing.
He was asked during a post-game interview why he refused to stand, Kaepernick explained his position stating;
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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 also referenced a series of African-American deaths caused by law enforcement that led to the Black Lives Matter movement and adding that he would continue to protest until he feels like “[the American flag] represents what it’s supposed to represent”.
It had gone largely unnoticed that Kaepernick was also sitting during the anthem in the previous two weeks, when he was inactive and not in uniform while recovering from injuries.
Colin Kaepernick Net Worth
Colin Kaepernick is an American football player and social activist with a net worth of $20 million. His peak NFL salary was $14.3 million which came during the 2016 season.
Colin Kaepernick is a Christian. He was baptized Methodist, confirmed Lutheran, and attended a Baptist church during his college years. He spoke about his faith saying, “I think God guides me through every day and helps me take the right steps and has helped me to get to where I’m at.”
Kaepernick has different tattoos about his faith. His right arm features a scroll with the Bible verse Psalm 18:39 written on it. Tattooed under the scroll are praying hands with the phrase “To God The Glory” written on them.
To the left of both the scroll and praying hands is the word “Faith” written vertically. His left arm also features a Christian cross with the words “Heaven Sent” on it referring to Jesus Christ. Written above and below the cross is the phrase “God Will Guide Me”. Written to the left and right of the cross is the Bible verse Psalm 27:3.
Kaepernick started dating radio personality and television host Nessa Diab in July 2015, and officially went public about their relationship in February 2016.
In February 2020, he started Kaepernick Publishing with plans on publishing a children’s book titled I Color Myself Different in April 2022 through his publishing company and Scholastic.
On October 29, 2021, Netflix premiered Colin in Black & White, a six-episode limited series about Kaepernick’s teenage years. The series was co-created by Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay.