Former Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose decision to protest social inequality and police brutality against minorities during the national anthem in 2017, announced Thursday he is writing a memoir that will be released this year. Kaepernick will do so through his newly formed company, Kaepernick Publishing, in partnership with Audible.
The 32-year-old, who became a lightning rod for praise and criticism since his 2017 protests, spoke to USA Today about his upcoming book and his desire to play in the NFL, which has blackballed him from the league since his controversial protests.
"I learned early on that in fighting against systematic oppression, dehumanization and colonization, who controls the narrative shapes the reality of how the world views society,” Kaepernick exclusively told USA Today. “It controls who’s loved, who’s hated, who’s degraded and who’s celebrated.
“I’ve had a lot of questions surrounding what got me to the point of protesting. 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.”
Kaepernick said he created a publishing company to increase opportunities for minority writers. He said being able to dictate his own narrative is one of the reasons he wanted to publish the book on his own.
“It’s not just my control over stories,” Kaepernick said. “We wanted to be able to put the power back into the hands of the people that are telling the stories and the people that are writing the stories and creating them. We didn’t want to monopolize that and hold that to ourselves. It’s something that should be distributed to the people who are putting in the work to be able to tell their stories and tell them in a genuine and authentic way.
“I’ve always had an interest in books. I’ve had an interest in black literature. 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X' was a book that changed my life, so much that every Know Your Rights camp that we have, we give the book to all of the youth that attend. And black literature was something that was key to developing my own thoughts and ideas of how to navigate the spaces that I enter. So I not only wanted to give insight into what led me to protest through my memoir, I wanted to make sure I was able to retain the ownership over my story in the process.”
Kaepernick also told USA Today his desire to play in the NFL in unchanged. In November, the NFL arranged a workout before teams in Atlanta, although that got him no closer to finding a job in the league as it turned into a fiasco over paperwork and whether media would be allowed to film the event.
Kaepernick hasn't played in the league since 2017 when he accounted for 18 touchdowns against only interceptions while posting a quarterback rating of 90.7 (17th in the NFL) while returning from multiple surgeries the offseason before. Kaepernick threw for 2,241 yards and rushed for 468 more in 12 games, including 11 starts.
“My desire to play football is still there,” Kaepernick told USA Torday. “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 was a four-year starter at Nevada from 2007-10 and led the Wolf Pack to a historic 2010 campaign in which Nevada went 13-1 and finished 11th in the nation. He finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy vote that season and is the only college quarterback to throw for more than 10,000 yards and rush for more than 4,000 yards in a career.