Kaepernick, who quarterbacked the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season, began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games in 2016 to protest police brutality and social inequality, a move that was both applauded and condemned. After the 2016 season, he opted out of his 49ers contract and has not played in the NFL since, raising questions about whether the league’s owners had blackballed him. In 2017, he filed a grievance accusing the owners of colluding against him. Last year, he reached a confidential settlement agreement with the NFL.
“I’ve had a lot of questions surrounding what got me to the point of protesting,” he told USA Today on Tuesday. “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.”
In November, Kaepernick held a public throwing session in front of NFL scouts at an Atlanta-area high school. He was not signed. But he has remained in the public eye thanks in part to a Nike advertising campaign. That, along with continued demand for Kaepernick jerseys, illustrates the audience that remains for him.
“My desire to play football is still there,” Kaepernick told USA Today. “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.”
Kaepernick has been shopping a book to publishing companies since at least 2017. His publishing company probably will span a variety of genres, from social justice and politics to fiction and children’s books, with additional projects being announced in the months to come.
Kaepernick Publishing also has an agreement with Audible, the online audio content company, “to create original audio projects focused on amplifying the voices of notable authors, creators and other influential figures,” the statement said. The memoir will be available online via Audible — narrated by Kaepernick himself — along with its hard-copy and e-book forms. A release date has not yet been set, though the book is expected to come out in the fall. Financial terms of the deal were not announced.
Said Kaepernick in his publishing company’s statement: “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. 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.”
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