NFL’s newest star, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaerpernick, is gracing the latest cover of GQ magazine. The 25-year-old Wisconsin-born star helps the magazine woo female fans with a half-naked cover photo, showing off his toned body and many tattoos.
Of course in the accompanying interview there’s football talk – for those who are interested. But there is more still, for all the fans who hope to learn more about the young athlete.
Born to a black father and white mother and later adopted by a white family, Kaepernick has a story to tell.
Check out some of the highlights below.
On being stereotyped because of his athleticism as a quarterback:
“I think the biggest part of my game that’s underestimated is the mental part of it. Probably because it’s invisible. You can’t see the hours I put in. It is funny to me that because I can run, because I’m athletic, people tend to see that as my only asset. And that’s fine—I hope they continue to see it that way [and underestimate me]. Look, I won’t say that view is ‘racist.’ I will say it’s stereotypical. I’ve just heard it so many times before.”
Kaepernick recalled a story from his youth that further confirmed he was different from his adopted family:
“On summer vacations, it happened every time. We’d be checking into a motel and somebody would come up to me as I’m standing next to my family, all nervous, and say, ‘Um, can I help you with something?’ ”
But as the author of the article, Andrew Corsello, puts it, Kaepernick wants to be different.
“Kaepernick is a guy who’s earned the right to be taken at face value. He doesn’t want to be an icon, and his tats aren’t ghetto or anti-authoritarian or disrespecting or black. They don’t mean anything other than what they literally say. (God is good!) He dislikes and distrusts fame—it’s never been about ‘the grades,’ the accolades—and certainly doesn’t want to deploy it in any way. He’s a devout Christian who wants his God ‘to shine through’ everything he does. But he’s not looking to ‘signify’ anything at this point in his life, and to his credit, he doesn’t. He just is.”