Colin Kaepernick

Former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been out of work for more than 800 days. But he says he's never stopped being ready to play football.

In the three years since he took his final NFL snap, Colin Kaepernick has said very little as he has remained a central figure in a national conversation about athletes and political speech. But soon, he will tell his side of the story at length.

Kaepernick announced Thursday that he will release a memoir through a new publishing company he has founded, Kaepernick Publishing. Audible, the audiobook company owned by Amazon, will release an audio version of the memoir, as well as other Kaepernick Publishing projects.

“I want to tell the story of my evolution, and the events that led me to protest systemic oppression, in hopes that it will inspire others to rise in action,” Kaepernick said in a statement. The statement described the memoir as revealing “the life experiences that led him to risk his career as a star NFL Super Bowl quarterback in one silent act of protest.”

No title or release date was announced.

This is not the first time that Kaepernick has announced a book. In 2015 — a year before he began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial oppression — it was announced that he was writing a book titled “Different” for an imprint of HarperCollins. That book, which has not been released, was to be “an inspirational, faith-filled memoir.”

Kaepernick’s name has been floated with a number of media projects in development in the last few years, from books to podcasts to video, and he is working with filmmaker Ava DuVernay on a scripted television show based upon his upbringing.

The structure of Kaepernick Publishing and its leadership has not been disclosed, but there are some clues about how it will be different from most publishers.

Ownership rights over intellectual property will seemingly favor writers, who will have “unprecedented ownership options,” and will emphasize minority voices, according to the statement announcing the move.

Kaepernick Publishing was established in March 2019, according to filings with the New York Department of State, about a month after he settled his collusion grievance against the NFL, accusing the league of keeping him out of work. But even as he was building a company, Kaepernick still professed an interest in returning to football.

In November, the NFL arranged a workout for Kaepernick and invited all 32 teams. With several starting quarterbacks injured and untested backups thrust into unfamiliar roles, it was billed as a chance for Kaepernick to show that he still belonged in the league. But the workout fell apart amid a dispute between Kaepernick and the league, and he performed in a half workout, half media circus in front of eight scouts at a high school.

No team ended up signing him.

In 2018, Kaepernick agreed to a lucrative endorsement contract with Nike. After a year with little produced in the collaboration, beyond a commercial, Nike released a Kaepernick-branded version of its popular Air Force 1 sneaker in December, calling it “True to 7” after Kaepernick’s number in the NFL.

The New York Times

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