Colin Kaepernick's High School Life to Be Featured in Netflix Series

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2019, file photo, free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick arrives for a workout for NFL football scouts and media in Riverdale, Ga. Kaepernick has been a leader in the fight for social justice by people of color not just in the football world or the sports world. Recent developments have raised his profile and, more significantly, reminded many of the sacrifices he has made while protesting social injustice and police brutality.(AP Photo/Todd Kirkland, File)
Todd Kirkland/Associated Press

Colin Kaepernick and filmmaker Ava DuVernay are collaborating on a scripted Netflix series about the quarterback's high school years, the streaming giant announced Monday.

Per Joe Otterson of Variety, the show "will provide a look at Kaepernick's early life as a Black child growing up with a white adopted family and his journey to become a great quarterback while defining his identity. The series will also explore what led him to become a civil rights advocate."

According to Tony Maglio of The Wrap, Michael Starrbury—who worked with DuVernay on the miniseries When They See Us—will serve as the showrunner on the six-episode series. 

Kaepernick, who will narrate the show, spoke about the project in a statement:

"Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens. We seek to give new perspective to the differing realities that Black people face. We explore the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years. It's an honor to bring these stories to life in collaboration with Ava for the world to see."

Kaepernick, 32, spent six years as a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, leading the team to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season. He became a national talking point in 2016 when he took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before games as an act of protest against police brutality and racial discrimination.

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That stirred a debate, and when Kaepernick became a free agent after that season, he went unsigned. He remains unsigned to this day, leading many people to believe he was blackballed by the NFL because of his political beliefs.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier in June that if an NFL team were interested in signing Kaepernick, he would "support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that."

DuVernay said in a statement:

"With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture and for him, personally. Colin's story has much to say about identity, sports and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn't be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix."

Dominic Patten of Deadline reported that shooting on the project would begin in the fall.