Colin Kaepernick’s Convenient Activism

After leaving the NFL, the former 49ers quarterback has made a career out of social justice.

What’s happening: Colin Kaepernick accused his white adoptive parents of being racist in a promotional interview as part of a campaign to launch his memoir. This is not the first time the former NFL player has called out his parents for promotional reasons. His biographical Netflix series includes many scenes in which his parents are portrayed as racist.

The activist lifestyle: Since Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, he’s turned his attention to speaking out about supposed racial inequities in America. This has proven a successful pivot, with Kaepernick producing the previously mentioned Netflix series and memoir and becoming a pop culture figure, appearing at events like the Met Gala.

Grift or genuine? Although many believe that Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem resulted in him leaving the NFL, he left the sport after three surgeries, losing weight and muscle mass, and losing his position as quarterback.

Why it matters: No matter the reason Kaepernick left the NFL, it is evident that his turn to woke advocacy has resulted in him becoming far more well-known than he would’ve been had he continued merely playing football. It seems he’s willing to criticize the people who raised him in exchange for media deals and press coverage.