After years of virtual silence since leaving the NFL after kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality, Colin Kaepernick has announced that he will release his memoir by the end of 2020.
According to a press release and further confirmed on Kaepernick’s Twitter page, the former Super Bowl quarterback will release the book through his own publishing company, Kaepernick Publishing. Audible, the industry-leading producer of audiobooks, will exclusively present the audio version. Print and e-book versions will be published by Kaepernick Publishing in partnership with Melcher Media, with distribution by Ingram Brand’s Two Rivers Distribution.
“My protest was the culmination of years of thought and experiences, of learning and unlearning. I want to tell the story of my evolution, and the events that led me to protest systemic oppression, in hopes that it will inspire others to rise in action,” Kaepernick said in a statement. “I am excited that through this groundbreaking partnership between Kaepernick Publishing and Audible, we can elevate Black and Brown voices who can empower future generations.” The release also stated that Kaepernick founded his own company to emphasize the importance of black ownership, and “to give power to Black and Brown voices globally” in the fields of literature and spoken word.
Kaepernick played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers, and made the Super Bowl in his first full season as a starter. But he would become much more known four years later, when he began to sit out the national anthem during his team’s preseason games as a protest against police brutality against people of color. The move sparked nationwide controversy, with detractors – including President Donald Trump – declaring his protest as unpatriotic. But for his supporters, he has become one of the most revered cultural figures in America for his willingness to fight the system.
At the end of the 2016-2017 season, Kaepernick opted out of his contract and became a free agent. He has been unable to land with another team since then, despite continuing to train five days a week and many sports pundits believing that he’s still a better quarterback than many who are playing in the league. He also sued the NFL for collusion to keep him out of the league, before settling for an undisclosed amount. During his time out of the NFL, Kaepernick has put more time into activism, including his Know Your Rights Camp for children and over $1 million in donations to social justice and education causes. But he has rarely spoken publicly about his protests or his time away from the NFL.
“I’ve had a lot of questions surrounding what got me to the point of protesting,” he said in an interview with USA Today. “Why did I do it? Why did I do it at that moment? Why wasn’t it earlier in my career? A lot of questions surrounding what led me to that point. Which led me to wanting to share that story and give insight. So I think there’s a lot of interest around it, but time will tell when the book comes out.”