ESPN Films Will Document Colin Kaepernick’s Journey From A NFL Player To An Activist

by Duke Magazine

Within the space of few years, Colin Kaepernick has went on from a NFL quarterback whose decision to take a knee got him a backlash of not getting a team to become one of the valiant faces of global change at the resurgence of demonstrations against racism. Hence, ESPN Films, Disney and the football player’s media company have made plan to document his journey so far.

Kaepernick’s transformation from a member of the San Francisco 49ers to civil rights activist who popularized taking a knee during the national anthem will be chronicled in a documentary series to be developed by ESPN Films in conjunction with Walt Disney and Kaepernick’s company, Ra Vision Media, according to Variety.

The agreement announced on Monday, July 6, also calls for the group to produce both scripted and unscripted projects focusing on race, social injustice and the battle for equity produced and directed by people of color, according to the news outlet. The agreement will extend across Disney entities, including The Undeafeated, Hulu and Pixar.

“I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives,” Kaepernick said in a statement published by the news organization.

“I look forward to sharing the docuseries of my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing,” he said.

Sports journalist and commentator Jemele Hill has  agreed to work as producer on the project and ESPN executives Kevin Merida, Libby Geist, and Connor Schell will executive produce, Variety reports. 

Kaepernick began taking a knee during the national anthem at NFL games in 2016 to frown at police misconduct and social injustice. His act of passive resistance and resilience drew him the admiration of many, particularly as he went without being signed to any NFL side for years, and derision from others, including Donald Trump. The current racial reckoning in the wake of the May 25th death of George Floyd in Minneapolis pitched Kaepernick’s course front and center, prompting people around the globe to take a knee.

In a statement by ESPN president Jimmy Piatro, he said: “Colin has had a singular path as both an athlete and an activist and, as the nation continues to confront racism and social injustice, it feels particularly relevant to hear Colin’s voice on his evolution and motivations.”

Merida told Variety that the team is looking to tell stories of racial injustice in “new, compelling ways.”

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