In the case of Colin Kaepernick, when one door — that being to the NFL — closed, another opened — this one to Disney. The corporation and the football player-turned-activist have partnered to bring new content to the companies’ platforms.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s Ra Vision Media production company will be working to develop scripted and unscripted stories that center on social injustice, race, and the quest for equity. The content will air across various Disney platforms including Walt Disney Television, Hulu, Pixar, and ESPN. The deal also promises to give minority producers and directors their time in the spotlight.
The first project to come from the deal will be a docuseries that follows the last five years of Kaepernick’s life and for which he tapped sports journalist Jemele Hill to produce.
“I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives,” Kaepernick said in a statement. “I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing.”
The deal comes on the heels of news of another major project to which Kaepernick is attached. He and “13th” producer and director Ava DuVernay are developing a six-part Netflix limited series, “Colin in Black & White,” based on his teenage years and early days playing sports.
“Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” he said of the limited series. “We seek to give new perspective to the differing realities that Black people face. We explore the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years. It’s an honor to bring these stories to life in collaboration with Ava for the world to see.”
DuVernay is just as enthused about working with the activist, saying, “With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture and for him, personally. Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn’t be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix.”
Further working to spread his messages of equality and work toward social justice, Kaepernick also recently joined the Medium Board of Directors. The website’s CEO Ev Williams made the announcement in a statement writing that Kaepernick Publishing’s mission is to uplift and elevate voices for Black and Brown communities.”
“He will be sharing his thoughts on anti-Black racism in our society, and Medium and Kaepernick Publishing will co-publish thought-provoking feature stories from diverse writers of color,” he continued.
Kaepernick was allegedly blackballed from the NFL in 2017 after refusing to stand during the National Anthem at games in an effort to bring attention to racial inequality throughout the nation. Although he’s remained a free agent since 2017, it hasn’t slowed him from his mission to bring light to and end racism in America.