Colin Kaepernick has worked diligently to make a name for himself off of the field with his foundation Know Your Rights Camps, and now he's establishing a publishing company.
On Thursday, the former quarterback announced he will be releasing his memoir through his new company, Kaepernick Publishing, in partnership with Audible, USA Today reports.
The 32-year-old says he enjoys reading and pushes the importance of literacy to the youth with his foundation. However, the philanthropist says having his own publishing company will allow him to craft the narrative of Black people.
"I learned early on that in fighting against systematic oppression, dehumanization and colonization, who controls the narrative shapes the reality of how the world views society,” Kaepernick said. “It controls who’s loved, who’s hated, who’s degraded and who’s celebrated.”
During the exclusive interview with USA Today Sports, the activist said he's motivated to create opportunities for Black and brown writers, authors and creators to retain ownership of their work. Above all else, he said the "manipulation, the colonization, the distortion of stories, narrative, history has been done forever" and he is striving to counteract and centralize those images.
“One of the quotes that comes to mind is Malcolm X’s quote, ‘If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people that are being oppressed and loving the people that are doing the oppressing.’ He’s speaking to the control of the narrative. So for me recognizing the importance of our community being able to control our own narratives and tell our own stories, this is something I thought had to be the next stepping stone for us to properly address and identify not only how we view ourselves, view our communities and how we tell our stories but also giving the world to view us in the way that we want them to as well,” he said.
Kaepernick said Black literature, especially the Autobiography of Malcolm X — which is given to each child at every Know Your Rights Camp — continues to inspire and teach him how to navigate spaces that he's entered and develop his thoughts.
Kaepernick, who kneeled during the national anthem at NFL games in protest of police brutality, plans to provide insight into his actions and thoughts during the pivotal time in his memoir. The unnamed memoir will also fill in the gaps since leaving the field and his path toward activism in the community, USA Today reports.
“I’ve had a lot of questions surrounding what got me to the point of protesting," he said. "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.”
Despite having a tumultuous relationship with the NFL and its owners since being blackballed, the former San Francisco 49er said he still has a desire to play on another team. In November, Kaepernick worked out in front of multiple NFL owners and coaches, and to no avail. But with the lack of Black quarterbacks in the NFL, there's certainly a need for his return.
“My desire to play football is still there,” Kaepernick said. “I still train five days a week. I’m ready to go, I’m ready for a phone call, tryout, workout at any point in time. I’m still waiting on the owners and their partners to stop running from this situation. So I hope I get a call this offseason. I’ll be looking forward to it.”