Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick may have once kneeled in order to take a stand. Not now, the athlete-turned-activist may have fallen off a cliff with his latest comments regarding racism.
This time, they are aimed at his own parents. Well, adoptive parents, that is.
The San Francisco star became the center of the sporting world’s attention during the 2016 season when he began to kneel during the National Anthem in protest of rampant police violence against African American citizens. At the time, the move opened a lot of discourse about race, the athlete’s role in politics and pop culture, and even questions on if the flag itself needed to be revered quite as much as it is.
It was a healthy debate, but Kaepernick has made some decisions since that has left him open to criticism. Even many who supported him in the past are left with a bad taste in their mouths at times.
His recent comments about his arrogated family appear to be another of those instances.
Rick and Teresa Kaepernick became his parents after Colin was put up for adoption at just five weeks old. The QB, who is interracial, has a biological father of African heritage and an Italian mother. The Kaepernicks would eventually raise him in their California home with their two children as one, big family.
Colin Kaepernick has made statements recently where he stated there were points when he felt like having two white adoptive parents was problematic
The former NFL star has said that he felt his family perpetuated racism within the home.
“I know my parents loved me, but there were still very problematic things that I went through,” Kaepernick told CBS’ Adriana Diaz on Thursday. “I think it was important to show that, no, this can happen in your home, and how you move forward collectively while addressing the racism that is being perpetuated.”
For example, Kaepernick says that his mother, Teresa, once told him: “Your hair is not professional, you look like a little thug” because he chose to get cornrows as a child.
“Those become spaces where it’s like, ‘How do I navigate this situation now?’ But it also has informed me as to why I have my hair long today,” he said.
Kaepernick’s quotes were like throwing gasoline on a racial fire last week, lighting social media ablaze.
He was referred to as an ‘Ungrateful POS’ and some even said they felt sorry for the Kaepernicks for adopting a young man who has now seemingly turned on them.
However, criticism hasn’t just come from those in the Caucasian community. As he has done in the past, Kaepernick is facing questions from various sides on this issue.
John Matrixx of Black & White Sports on YouTube weighed in saying, “This is a new low, I believe here, for Colin Kaepernick. Just when you think he couldn’t get any lower he actually reaches a new low. And he tries to smear his adopted as being racist towards him.”
“I have no respect whatsoever for Colin Kaepernick,” Matrixx continued. “And what his parents actually did was not racist by the way. But Colin Kaepernick is in the business of grifting, trying to make money so he’s going to go after his own parents. How pathetic is that.”
Ironically, Kaepernick once had a very different take on the family who adopted him. Many times previously, he credited them with teaching him to stand up to racism. And in 2016, Kap was asked by ESPN whether he was curious about meeting his birth parents, and he said no.
“It’s not really a respect thing,” Kaepernick said at the time. “It’s just — [my adopted family is] my family. That’s it.”
Apparently, something’s changed since then for Colin Kaepernick, because he’s certainly doing his best to burn bridges with them now.