Colin Kaepernick throws his parents under the bus, calls his upbringing ‘problematic’ because of ‘racism’
Colin Kaepernick has now accused yet another group of individuals of perpetuating racism: his own parents.
To promote his new graphic novel, “Change the Game,” Kaepernick sat down for an interview with CBS News. During the interview, which aired on Thursday, the half-black and half-white Kaepernick took aim at his white parents, Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, who adopted Colin when he was just an infant.
“I know my parents loved me, but there were still very problematic things that I went through,” the ex-NFL quarterback stated.
To demonstrate just how “problematic” his upbringing was, Kaepernick, now 35, cited a disagreement he had with his parents while he was still a teenager. He claimed he wanted to wear his hair in cornrows to emulate the style of his idol, NBA star Allen Iverson, but his mother supposedly objected.
According to his graphic novel, said to be autobiographical, when she heard how Colin wanted to style his hair, Teresa Kaepernick angrily replied, “He’s getting what rolls?” Other accounts indicate that she simply just stated that such a hairstyle was “not professional” and that it made him look “like a little thug.”
Kaepernick explained to CBS News that such differences of opinion were actually evidence of racism. “I think it was important to show that, no, this can happen in your own home, and how we move forward collectively while addressing the racism that is being perpetuated,” he said. Kaepernick also stated that he continues to keep his hair long to this day as a result of that incident.
Kaepernick, who hasn’t been featured on an NFL roster in nearly seven years, has a long history of accusing others of racism. When he infamously began taking a knee during the national anthem in the last season of his career, he claimed he was doing so to protest racist cops.
“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 after a preseason game in August 2016. “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 has previously compared the NFL draft to slavery, and he even filed a grievance with the league, alleging that he had been blackballed because of his so-called activism. He eventually settled for an undisclosed amount under $10 million, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2019.
In 2022, he announced that he had paired with director Spike Lee for yet another docu-series about his life.