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‘I Am Still Up at 5 a.m. Training’: Colin Kaepernick Opens Up About Staying Ready If He Gets the Chance to Return to the NFL

Colin Kaepernick is still training every day and is ready to play football should he be given the chance.

Kaepernick was blackballed by the NFL in 2016 after he began the preseason by kneeling at games during the pregame performances national anthem to protest police brutality against Black people. At first, Kaepernick sat on the bench during the anthem, which upset the military and enraged the MAGA set.

Colin Kaepernick training football
Colin Kaeprnick in his new Netflix series special “Colin in Black & White.” (Photo: Netflix)

After meeting with an upset veteran, Kaepernick decided to kneel instead of sitting while placing his hand over his heart as a sign of respect to the military. After his contract ended and Kaepernick became a free agent, no team would hire him.

Despite the NFL’s claims of implementing diversity initiatives brought on by Kaepernick’s protests, several years later, Kaepernick has still not been offered a position with a NFL team. Even so, Kaepernick remains ready to go. He said in a recent Ebony feature he still trains several days per week and dreams of playing professional football again.

“I am still up at 5 a.m. training five, six days a week making sure I’m prepared to take a team to a Super Bowl again. That’s not something I will ever let go of, regardless of the actions of 32 teams and their partners to deny me employment. The same way I was persistent in high school is the same way I’m gonna be persistent here.

“And you’re gonna have to continue to deny me and do so in a public way,” he added. “And you’re gonna expose yourself by that, but it won’t be because I’m not ready or not prepared.”

While Kaepernick still dreams of playing professional football, he also has other projects keeping him busy. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has a new documentary created with Ava DuVernay about his life. “Colin in Black & White” is a biopic series that also covers race, class, and culture.

“I hope it’s an opportunity for white people to be able to look at their actions…how they show up in society and how they are engaging with Black and Brown folks…and look at their own privilege and perspective and be able to take away from this what actions they can take to improve the dynamics and the oppressive nature of systems and positions of power and privilege that they have.” 

The series follows Kaepernick throughout his teenage years living with his white adoptive parents. He said that the series is an opportunity for white audiences to see race from another perspective and improve how they engage with people of color.

DuVernay shared that she was exciting to be working with Kaepernick on the TV show back in June 2020.

“This project has been a joy to work on for the last year with @michaelstarrbury,” she wrote on Instagram. “I’ve long been fascinated by how people become who they are. The steps we all take to get to ourselves. When it comes to @kaepernick7, those steps track the making of a singular American icon. This series is the origin story of a hero.”

The quarterback wants to inspire young people of color reach their full potential and create a better world in the process. Kaepernick founded Ra Vision Media, a production company that is providing Black and brown creatives a platform to showcase their work. He also founded Kaepernick Publishing in 2019. The publishing company will publish works with diverse views for all genres.

“Colin in Black & White” premieres on Netflix Oct. 29.

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