Former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick expresses in a recent interview about being a Black kid with white adoptive parents, who didn’t understand the environment of a Black child and the lack of cultural ties.
In an interview with CBS Mornings, the activist discusses his new book, Colin Kaepernick: Change the Game. The book was co-written with Eve L. Ewing, who is a professor and sociologist at the University of Chicago. It’s a graphic novel that divulges the early years of the former San Francisco 49ers player’s life before he made it to the NFL. Long before he made a stand to protest police brutality and racial injustice by taking a knee during the national anthem.
He does speak about the racial reckoning he had growing up with white adoptive parents. The lack of understanding of the Black culture also clouded their judgment when dealing with his awareness. When he was ready to embrace his Blackness, they contributed to some of the stereotypes that Blacks have to endure when dealing with those who are not people of color.
He does acknowledge that he knows they love him but that racism can still happen in the household. Stating the “problematic” issues encountered due to their perception of how Blacks could look.
“I know my parents loved me, but there were still very problematic things that I went through. I think it was important to show, ‘No, this can happen in your own home.’ And how do we move forward collectively while addressing the racism that is being perpetuated,” he stated.
CNN reported that he explained part of the reason he wears his hair long now. When he was a child he had cornrows and was chastised by his white mother, Teresa for wearing them. She told him, “Your hair is not professional, you look like a little thug.”
He stated that he wanted to get his hair braided into cornrows because he wanted to emulate his hero, NBA player, Allen Iverson according to Complex.
The author also said: “Those become spaces where it’s like, ‘How do I navigate this situation now?’ But it also has informed me why I have my hair long today.”