Colin Kaepernick: athlete, author, and publisher

The open conspiracy to keep Colin Kaepernick off the field is among the most underreported stories of the clash between sports and politics. David Zirin wrote a book about it, titled, The Kaepernick Effect: Taking a Knee, Changing the World." [ Amazon]

"In this powerful book, critically acclaimed sports journalist and author Dave Zirin chronicles "the Kaepernick effect" for the first time, through "a riveting collection of first-person stories" (The Nation) from high school athletes and coaches, college stars and high-powered athletic directors, and professional athletes across many different sports—from Megan Rapinoe to Michael Bennett. In each case, he uncovers the fascinating explanations and motivations behind what became a mass political movement in sports."

Zirin's book tracing the impact of Kaepernick's actions is essential because when he first took a knee, it was in protest of police violence against Black people. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color." 

While owners and some players ignore Kaepernick, he continues to work out, explaining in a recent interview, "You had those dreams from when you were a kid. 'I'm [gonna] be an NFL player and I'm going to win a Super Bowl.' And for me, I have unfinished business on that front. I have been to the Super Bowl. We were one play away. Well, I need to finish that. The NFL is supposed to be a meritocracy … If I'm not good enough, get rid of me. But let me come in and show you."

During the time Kaepernick was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, he was also involved in community and social justice work through the Kaepernick Foundation. He published a children's book titled, "I Color Myself Different," by his company, Kaepernick Publishing.

The first book published was Abolition for the People, "a manifesto calling for a world beyond prisons and policing. Abolition for the People brings together thirty essays representing a diversity of voices―political prisoners, grassroots organizers, scholars, and relatives of those killed by the anti-Black terrorism of policing and prisons."