In an interview published Thursday, famed anthem-kneeler Colin Kaepernick announced plans for an upcoming memoir and a publishing company focused on “black and brown writers and authors.”
Kaepernick also claimed that he still wants to play football in the NFL and is hoping to get a call this offseason, despite the former quarterback ditching an NFL-arranged tryout in November.
The upcoming memoir, which has yet to be named, and publishing company are all part of the former QB’s fight “against systematic oppression, dehumanization and colonization,” Kaepernick told USA TODAY Sports.
“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,” the multimillionaire said. “It controls who’s loved, who’s hated, who’s degraded and who’s celebrated.”
The publishing company, he explained, “is a way for me to be able to counteract that and begin to decolonize that and centralize the narrative of not only myself but other black and brown writers and authors.”
“I realized being able to control your narrative and tell your story the way you want to is very important,” added Kaepernick. “The manipulation, the colonization, the distortion of stories, narrative, history, has been done forever.”
The 32-year-old revealed that his memoir will address his polarizing national anthem protest, including lingering questions about the timing of the attention-grabbing kneeling.
“I’ve had a lot of questions surrounding what got me to the point of protesting. 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,” Kaepernick said. “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.”
The former San Francisco 49ers QB first refused to stand during the national anthem during a preseason game against the Houston Texans on August 14, 2016. “The next week,” The Daily Wire reported at the time, “Kaepernick sat on the bench again for the playing of the anthem ahead of the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, at which point, his private protest started to get national attention.”
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said of the protest, adding: “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick, now a highly-paid Nike brand rep, skipped a private tryout in November, which was organized by the NFL with the intention of landing the free agent a job he insisted he wanted.
Though the move sparked criticism from even some of Kaepernick’s strongest supporters, the activist claims he still wants to play in the NFL.
“My desire to play football is still there,” Kaepernick told USA TODAY Sports. “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.”