Netflix is creating a limited series based on the life of former NFL star and National Anthem protestor Colin Kaepernick, focusing on his early years as a high school student growing up in California. Ava DuVernay, the filmmaker behind Selma, is the creator of the project along with Kaepernick.
Colin in Black & White will be a scripted drama, featuring the real Kaepernick as narrator, according to Netflix. No other cast has been announced. The show will consist of six episodes following the future NFL quarterback “as a Black child growing up with a white adopted family and his journey to become a great quarterback while defining his identity.”
He would grow up to play in the Super Bowl and realize you never stop fighting for your dreams.
She would grow up to tell stories that matter to millions.
— Netflix (@netflix) June 29, 2020
Netflix didn’t say if DuVernay would direct any of the episodes. The filmmaker previously teamed up with the streamer on The 13th, a documentary about the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, and When They See Us, a limited series about the Central Park Five.
Kaepernick said in a statement that white people too often get to tell the stories of black people.
“Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” said Kaepernick. “We seek to give new perspective to the differing realities that Black people face. We explore the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years. It’s an honor to bring these stories to life in collaboration with Ava for the world to see.”
Kaepernick played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers. His NFL career changed forever when he began kneeling during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality toward black people. His protests drew widespread criticism but soon caught on with other athletes, who also began taking a knee during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Kaepernick left the 49ers in 2016 and is currently an unsigned free agent.
Ava DuVernay praised the football player for starting a “national conversation” with his kneeling during the National Anthem.
“With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture and for him, personally,” said DuVernay. “Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn’t be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix.”
Netflix said that Michael Starrbury, who worked on When They See Us, will write the series and serves as executive producer, alongside DuVernay and Kaepernick.
In recent weeks, Ava DuVernay has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most vocal backers of the Black Lives Matter protests. She recently warned white men who work in the entertainment industry that she and other powerful black producers may choose not to hire them if they criticize or question diversity in ways that “diminish” people of color.