Football players have been making headlines about their behaviors off the field for years, but last year, ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made headlines for very different reasons. In order to bring attention to the oppression of people of color, Kaepernick decided he would kneel and continue to kneel during the playing of the national anthem until the words in the song rang true for everyone.
His actions yielded a very different responses from the public and from those in the public eye. We saw everything from #veteransforkaepernick trending, and a well-known former NYPD officer declaring his support of Kaepernick; while others have posted videos of themselves burning Kaepernick’s jersey and threats to boycott the NFL if Kaepernick was signed to any other team in the league.
President Trump offered his stance via tweet that NFL players who refuse to stand for the national anthem should be fired or suspended. These comments did not go over well with the players in the league and a vast amount of players and/or teams either did not come out of the locker room for the playing of the national anthem that following Sunday, or they kneeled together and locked arms, in solidarity with Kaepernick.
Kaepernick has kept relatively silent on the recent controversies with the President and the NFL teams, but it’s recently been announced that he’s signed a $1 million book deal with One World, an imprint of Random House publishing. There’s no word yet on when the book will be published, or what it will cover, but we imagine that it will be about the events of the past two years, still playing out both on-and-off the field, on daily news television, in social movement protests, and NFL executive meetings.
While Kaepernick left the 49ers earlier this year, he’s remained a free agent, despite indicating that he wants to return to football. The President has taken credit for this, saying that he would use twitter to create a PR crisis for any team that signed him. This October, Kaepernick also filed a grievance against the NFL, saying that team owners have colluded to keep him out.
Kaepernick’s story is still unfolding, and there’s a lot to tell. This book will be the first step in sharing that story.
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