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Who is Colin Kaepernick and why did he take a knee?

Ah! You obviously know nothing about sports. Or you know too much about sports and not enough about politics. Either way, read on!

Colin Kaepernick is an NFL quarterback and activist who developed one of 2016-2017's most potent symbols of resistance. During an NFL preseason game in the summer of 2016, Kaepernick famously took a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and systematic racism.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way."- Colin Kaepernick

Some quick facts about the man behind the symbol:

  • Born in Wisconsin to biracial parents, but adopted and raised by Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, a Caucasian couple, in California
  • A 4.0 student and an All-State 3 sport athlete
  • Played college football at the University of Nevada, graduating with a BS in business management
  • A second round NFL draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2011, advancing the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII in 2012
  • Signed a six-year contract with the 49ers worth up to $126 million in 2014, but suffered a left shoulder injury the next year. His contract was restructured into a two-year deal in 2016.
  • First kneeled during the national anthem on September 1st, 2016
  • The next year he opted out of his contract and became a free agent. He's currently without a team.

As the #takeaknee movement grew, more players started doing it and it got the attention of The Orange Fuhrer, who of course took to Twitter to show off his lack of knowledge about the movement.


The White House/NFL Player feud eventually escalated to the point where VP Mike Pence did a choreographed walk-out during a Colts v 49ers game as players knelt during the anthem. His sensitive eyes couldn't handle the sight! (Also his car was waiting, since he never actually intended to stay.)

Kaepernick is still a free agent today. Many believe that teams are staying away from him because they are afraid of the backlash he might bring to their franchise. 42 other quarterbacks have been signed since he became a free agent.

That said, he's still using his fame for good.