Facts about Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick is 36 years old
Best known as: The NFL quarterback who kneeled to protest racial injustice


Colin Kaepernick Biography

American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season. He has since become better known for being unofficially banned from the league since his 2016 decision to kneel — rather than stand — for the pre-game playing of the American national anthem in protest against racial injustice.

Colin Kaepernick grew up in Turlock, California, and went to John H. Pittman High School there. He went to college at the University of Nevada at Reno, graduating in December of 2010 with a degree in business management. After a redshirt freshman year, he thrived playing football at the small school, starting all four of his active seasons. Kaepernick was an unusual double threat, with both a powerful throwing arm and the speed and agility to break big runs downfield; he became the only player in NCAA history to throw for over 10,000 yards and rush for over 4000 yards.

Months later, Colin Kaepernick was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft. He was the 36th pick overall, being chosen after the 49ers made a trade with the Denver Broncos to move up. After backing up starter Alex Smith for one and a half seasons, Kaepernick got his first start on November 19, 2012, against the Chicago Bears, when Smith was held out after a concussion in the previous game.

Smith never got his job back, as San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh made Colin Kaepernick the starter the rest of the way. Kaepernick responded by leading the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII at the end of that season, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-31. However, he struggled in subsequent seasons, losing his starting job to journeyman Blaine Gabbert during the 2015 season.

Before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on August 26, 2016, Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem, later saying “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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 continued to sit or kneel during the anthem for the rest of the season, and his choice was controversial. Early in the 2017 season, a number of other NFL players began to kneel during the national anthem. When President Donald Trump said in a speech that reaction to such players should be, “Get that [expletive] off the field right now, out, he’s fired,” more players and entire teams (and some owners, too) defied him by linking arms or kneeling during the anthem.

But by then, Kaepernick was out of the NFL. Kaepernick became a free agent after the 2016 season, but no NFL team offered him a job or even a tryout. It seemed to many observers that Kaepernick was being shunned by NFL owners for his political stance. In October of 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the league, saying that owners were colluding to keep him out of the NFL. The suit was settled out of court, but Kaepernick has not played in the league since.

Extra credit

Colin Kaepernick wore jersey number number 7 as a pro. He wore number 10 at the University of Nevada… Colin Kaepernick is 6’4″ tall and weighs 230 pounds, according to NFL.com… His signature touchdown celebration was called “Kaepernicking”: flexing his his right arm and bending down as if to kiss the bicep… Colin Kaepernick was also a top baseball prospect after high school, and in 2009 was drafted by the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball… Colin Kaepernick is adopted. According to his official biography from the 49ers, “Colin was born in Milwaukee, WI. His mother was 19 years old and worked in retail sales. She was in a tough situation and thought that adoption would be the best way to give her young son a good life. She had three requirements for the adoptive family – siblings, financial stability and a sports background. She decided that the best fit for Colin would be with Rick and Teresa Kaepernick and their two children, [son] Kyle and [daughter] Devon.” Kaepernick is bi-racial: “half-black, half-white,” according to a 2012 story in USA Today… Colin Kaepernick’s tattoos: among his many tattoos, Kaepernick has “Against All Odds” tattooed across his chest and Biblical verses tattooed on his arms… Other famous San Francisco 49er quarterbacks include Joe Montana and Steve Young.


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