In just a few years, Colin Kaepernick went from NFL quarterback whose decision to take a knee left him without a team to one of the faces of global change -- and ESPN Films, Disney and the football player’s media company plan to document it.
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, reports 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 Undefeated, 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 protest police misconduct and social injustice. His act of passive resistance drew him the admiration of many, particularly as he went unsigned for years, and derision from others, including Donald Trump. The current racial reckoning prompted by the May 25th death of George Floyd in Minneapolis vaulted Kaepernick’s cause front and center, prompting people around the globe to take a knee.
Said ESPN president Jimmy Piatro in a statement: “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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