Colin Kaepernick Sheds Light On His ‘Problematic’ Upbringing
Written by Rika C on March 10, 2023
Colin Kaepernick is accusing his adoptive parents of being problematic during his childhood in a new interview with CBS news. The former NFL football player explains the struggles that he had to face with growing up with a white family in his new graphic novel, “Change The Game”. “I know my parents loved me. But there were still very problematic things that I went through,” Kaepernick expressed to CBS News.
“I think 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,” he added. One particular moment that stood out to him was when he was in high school and told his parents he wanted braids just like the former NBA star, Allen Iverson and his mother responded, “he’s getting what rolls?” Kaepernick said that after styling his hair that way, his mom told him his hair was “not professional” and he “looked like a little thug.”
During the interview he dove into how much Allen Iverson inspired him. “This was the era of Allen Iverson, a cultural phenom. He was someone that I looked up to, and I saw him be so unapologetically Black and unapologetically himself. It was something I aspired to, and I looked at that as an opportunity for me to be able to really take hold of my blackness and do it in a way that I was proud of and I was excited about. And the difficulty with that is being in white culture with Eurocentric beauty standards, navigating what their response to that was at 15 years old and not knowing how to fight back against that, really outside of saying, no, this is just what I want to do. And that became a very difficult conversation and situation, navigating that both with my family, with my community, with coaches.” The former football player said these teenage interactions helped shape his decisions as an adult to embrace his blackness. “Those become spaces where it’s like, ‘Okay, how do I navigate the situation now?’ But it also has informed why I have my hair long today,” Kaepernick shared.