Colin Kaepernick Interview With PAPER Magazine
Before Colin Kaepernick began to kneel during the national anthem we really didn’t have any idea about what was going on in his head. He wasn’t politically outspoken. We had no public record of his activism or community work. For all we knew he was spending more time studying opposing defenses than defending the civil rights of Black and brown people in America.
That wasn’t exactly the case.
Kaep recently did an interview with PAPER Magazine and talked about the moment he decided that he was going to use whatever platform he had as an NFL quarterback to spread his message.
As Kaepernick describes it, “The discussion happened shortly after the execution of Mario Woods.” The murder of the 26-year-old Woods on December 2, 2015 by five San Francisco police officers left Kaepernick with feelings of loss, pain and anger.
Woods’ murder coincided with Kaepernick’s resolve to put his social analysis into action. “If Colin wasn’t reviewing a playbook,” recalls Nessa, “he was reading a history book.” Week after week, Kaepernick could be found devouring texts on the global struggle for Black freedom and self-determination. His bookshelf was overflowing with titles like The Autobiography of Malcolm X; Women, Race, & Class by Angela Davis and Huey P. Newton’s autobiography, Revolutionary Suicide. The texts offered Kaepernick ideas for architecting the camp and its curriculum.
Mario’s murder lead to a conversation that would become the foundation of the Know Your Rights Camp that Kaep founded to help combat the ills of racism and bigotry in American society.
Sadly, for many Black and brown people, unjust killing at the hands of police has been the impetus for awakening. Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, and SO many others have lead to a united social consciousness that has forever changed the way this country addresses the issue of inequality.