Colin Kaepernick criticized his white adoptive parents in an interview this week, claiming that his "problematic" upbringing led to incidents of "racism" in his household.
The embattled former NFL quarterback-turned social-justice advocate has been promoting a new graphic novel, entitled "Change The Game."
According to the New York Post, the graphic novel tells the story of Kaepernick's journey from high school and college to the NFL, and centers around the Wisconsin native's lack of choice in his future.
As one example, Kaepernick claims that his parents tried to steer him in a direction they thought was best, which led to several fights with their adopted son.
"I know my parents loved me, but there were still very problematic things that I went through," Kaepernick told CBS Chicago. "It was important to show that, 'no, this can happen in your own home,' and how we move forward collectively while addressing the racism that is being perpetuated."
Another example covered Kaepernick supposedly having disagreements over his hairstyle — specifically his parents pushing back against Colin wanting to embrace his blackness by wearing cornrows — in tribute to his idol, Hall of Fame basketball player Allen Iverson.
"He's getting what rolls?" his mother, Teresa, was cited as saying in the book.
Teresa Kaepernick allegedly then told her son: "Oh, your hair's not professional. Oh, you look like a little thug."
That argument from many years ago shaped Kaepernick's current attitude toward hairstyle
"It also is informed why I have my hair long today," Kaepernick told CBS Chicago.
Kaepernick was a five-year starter for the San Francisco 49ers (2012-16), compiling a 28-30 overall record during that span.
During the 2012 NFL playoffs, however, Kaepernick caught fire.
In the Divisional Playoff round against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick set the single-game league record for most rushing yards by a quarterback (181).
He later guided the upstart 49ers to a berth in Super Bowl XLVII, with San Francisco falling just short in a 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
A few years later, Kaepernick generated worldwide headlines by refusing to stand for the National Anthem. His kneel-down was copied by many NFL players for a brief period.
Since then, Kaepernick has become a celebrated figure for social justice — perhaps at the expense of his NFL career getting cut short by a few years.
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