Colin Kaepernick Turns His Back on ‘Problematic’ White Parents
In his recently released graphic novel, “Change the Game,” Colin Kaepernick discussed his experience of grappling with his racial identity as he was raised in a White family. The former NFL player recounted instances of conflict with his parents that he attributed to racism, and described his upbringing as “problematic.”
“I know my parents loved me. But there were still very problematic things that I went through,” the biracial former NFL quarterback said to CBS News.
“I think it was important to show that, no, this can happen in your own home, and how we move forward collectively while addressing the racism that is being perpetuated,” he continued.
In his graphic novel, Kaepernick depicted a particular incident that exemplified this, portraying a dispute he had with his parents during high school regarding his hairstyle.
Kaepernick was motivated to style his hair in cornrows, inspired by his hero, NBA player Allen Iverson. However, he recounted receiving resistance from his parents.
“He’s getting what rolls?” Kaepernick’s mom says in the graphic novel.
According to Kaepernick, his mother cautioned him that his cornrows were “unprofessional” and made him appear like a “thug.”
Kaepernick, who transitioned from a football player to a social justice activist, stated that these incidents during his teenage years influenced his choices as an adult to embrace his ethnic identity.
“Those become spaces where it’s like, ‘Okay, how do I navigate the situation now?’ But it also has informed why I have my hair long today,” Kaepernick said to CBS.
When Colin Kaepernick began kneeling on the field during NFL games to draw attention to police brutality and racism, he gained widespread recognition as a former player for the San Francisco 49ers.