For PAPER‘s latest cover, the magazine called upon Colin Kaepernick.
During his conversation with the magazine, Kaepernick revealed the incident that sparked his activism. The former San Franciso 49ers quarterback recalled the death of Mario Woods, back in 2015. The 26-year-old was shot 21 times by five San Franciso police officers. Cops stated that they felt threatened because Woods was holding a knife, however, video footage proved that the knife was at Woods’ side in a non-threatening manner.
Following that incident, Kaepernick enlightened himself on America’s history of injustice. “If Colin wasn’t reviewing a playbook, he was reading a history book,” Kaepernick’s girlfriend, Nessa, informed the magazine. Kaepernick and Nessa started the Know Your Rights Camp, which is a traveling youth-empowerment initiative. As time goes on, Kaepernick knows that his movement needs support from everyone.
“This movement needs all types of people,” says Kaepernick. “From athletes to healers to poets and artists to scholars and lawyers, we need everyone to contribute to the struggle. The struggle is affecting all of us. Period.”
More recently, Kaepernick went to Instagram to thank those who have stayed by his side. Three years later, Kaepernick has yet to be recruited by an NFL team following his activism. “You never turned your back on me or the people, even when the nfl tried to silence your voice & the movement. You’ve never flinched or wavered. I love you Brother! Let’s get it! @E_Reid35 And to the people – I see you, I hear you and I love you! Thank you for having my back!!!” he wrote on Instagram.
Back in February, Kaepernick reached a settlement with the NFL that remains confidential. Members of the hip-hop community have shared their opinion and are hopeful that Kaepernick will be recruited in the near future.
Check out Colin Kaepernick’s entire cover story here.