Colin Kaepernick is touching down in a new arena.
The NFL quarterback and activist announced on Thursday that he will release an autobiography this year through his own publishing company, Kaepernick Publishing. Audible, the producer and seller of spoken audio entertainment, will release the spoken-word version and will partner with the imprint to create original content from and about influential figures.
"Part political awakening and part memoir, Kaepernick's memoir will reveal the life experiences that led him to risk his career as a star NFL Super Bowl quarterback in one silent act of protest," according to a news release.
"My protest was the culmination of years of thought and experiences, of learning and unlearning," Kaepernick said in the release. "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." He said he hopes the partnership "can elevate black and brown voices who can empower future generations."
According to the release, the publisher also plans to offer "unprecedented ownership options" to collaborators and bring "greater diversity and representation to literature and the spoken word."
Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, made national headlines in 2016 when he refused to stand for the national anthem before a preseason game in protest of police brutality. His actions were in part inspired by tensions between law enforcement and black Americans after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014. The officer who shot Brown was not indicted.
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In an interview with NFL Media later, Kaepernick explained why he decided to kneel during the performance.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick said at the time. "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."
For the rest of the season, Kaepernick refused to stand, and his actions spurred polarized reactions; some praised him for shedding light on police brutality while others deemed his actions unpatriotic. The protests mushroomed the following year after President Donald Trump exclaimed that the NFL should "fire" players who refused to stand for the anthem.
Kaepernick became a free agent shortly thereafter. He filed a grievance against the NFL in 2017 after accusing the league of collusion; he withdrew the grievance in 2019 after reaching an agreement.
The NFL player follows in the footsteps of the late basketball legend Kobe Bryant as a publisher.
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