A month after Colin Kaepernick said his white adoptive parents “perpetuated racism,” the former NFL quarterback discussed having “difficult” conversations while navigating family dynamics.
On Thursday, Kaepernick shared a video on Twitter with author Eve L. Ewing discussing their graphic novel, “Change the Game” — a memoir about his high school years – and said he had trouble calling his family out when they were being “problematic.”
Ewing — who is also a professor and sociologist at the University of Chicago — first explained that being a trans-racial adoptee (Kaepernick’s parents are white) is “isolating,” and said many people will be able to relate to the former 49ers quarterback’s story.
“I will say, I’ve had lot of responses from other trans-racial adoptees on that front,” Kaepernick said.
“Just like having similar experiences and having similar family dynamics that they’re trying to navigate. And I think it’s because it is so unique.
“It is very difficult for people to have a nuanced conversation around it — [and] be, like, yeah, the people that love you and that you love can also perpetuate very problematic elements, and those things can exist at the same time.
“And part of it is, like, how do you grapple with that? How do you navigate that? And especially at a young age? And it’s, like, are you equipped to navigate that and are your parents equipped to navigate that?”
Kaepernick shared a video of the conversation and wrote: “It was important for me to share my story so that others who’ve had similar experiences would feel recognized & affirmed.”
His comments came nearly a month after he told CBS in March that his parents, Teresa and Rick Kaepernick, “perpetuated racism” in their household growing up.
“I know my parents loved me. But there were still very problematic things that I went through,” Kaepernick said during the interview in early March.
“I think it was important to show that, ‘No, this can happen in your own home, and how we move forward collectively while addressing the racism that is being perpetuated.”
In his book, Kaepernick recalled getting into a disagreement with his parents over his hairstyle.
At the time, Kaepernick wanted cornrows after being inspired by his idol, former Sixers All-Star guard Allen Iverson.
“He’s getting what rolls?” his mom says in the book.
After Kaepernick went ahead and got cornrows, he said his mother suggested his hair was “not professional” and that he “looked like a little thug.”
Although Kaepernick hasn’t played an NFL game in seven years, he insists he’s ready — and is looking forward to a potential return to the field.
“Five, six days a week I’m still up at 4:30, I go get my training in,” he told the outlet.
“Yeah, that passion is still there and the ability is still there.”
Kaepernick shared a similar message with Ebony magazine in October 2021, adding at the time that he was training so that he could be “prepared to take a team to a Super Bowl again.”
Last April, Kaepernick put on a throwing exhibition for scouts and team personnel in attendance at Michigan football’s spring game, at the invitation of coach Jim Harbaugh.
The Raiders gave Kaepernick a workout opportunity in May 2022, amid a search for a backup behind Derek Carr — who signed with the Saints last month.
Kaepernick led the 49ers to Super Bowl 47 in the 2012 season, throwing for 302 yards with a touchdown and rushing for another score in a 34-31 loss to the Ravens.
He made headlines in 2016 when he knelt during the national anthem of a preseason game in protest of police brutality and racial injustice.
The Nevada product was selected by San Francisco in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft — and was with the team until he became a free agent in March 2017.
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