A little boy born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin soon became one of the most talked-about quarterbacks in the NFL.
According to the author of an article posted in The New York Times, Colin Kaepernick was born to a white mother and black father. Shortly after, he was put up for adoption. Rick and Teresa Kaepernick ended up adopting him.
Their family dynamic is unique. The Kapernick parents are both white and their adopted son is black and white. Growing up as interracial molds the interactions one has and how one interprets those interactions. In the Kapernick household, however, there was more of a white background present than a black background, even if Kaepernick himself was half-black. Being half-black is still a part of his identity although his parents aren’t black.
This specific background mixed with his platform has given Kaepernick the tools and knowledge to address an important topic in the United States: race. In 2016, Kaepernick began kneeling when the national anthem was playing during NFL games. This was a form of peaceful protest from the player after several incidents of police brutality were affecting communities, specifically black communities.
Following his lead, more NFL players and teams began kneeling during the anthem in support of Kaepernick and in support of the dialogue the United States needs to have in regards to race.
The United States is a melting pot. The beauty of the United States is that the government claims everyone can achieve the American dream. The beauty of the United States is that the government claims everyone has rights regardless of skin color.
But Kaepernick soon realized that there is a problem with the system and treatment of minorities in the United States. For a while, he decided to lay low because he wanted the conversation to be about race and not about him. Kaepernick has founded the “Know Your Rights Camp.” According to the website, the camp is geared toward youth in order to raise awareness about higher education, self empowerment, and instructions on how to properly interact with law enforcement.
Laying low didn’t last long, however. Kaepernick also is featured in the Netflix documentary “Colin in Black and White,” directed by Ava Duvernay.
Regardless of whether kneeling during the anthem is seen as right, wrong, powerful, or disrespectful, Kaepernick is an icon to minorities and biracial people in the U.S.A. and across the world. His leadership has gotten people talking about race and treatments of people of color in this country. Dialogue is not bad or dirty. Dialogue is merely the a step in the direction toward change.