Colin Rand Kaepernick is a professional football player with the National Football League, but is currently on free agent status since 2016. He had a much decorated college football career at the University of Nevada prior to being selected by San Francisco 49ers. He has become a national figure after protesting against racial injustice in the United States.
Kaepernick was born to a single mother in 1987, who eventually placed him up for adoption. He was then adopted by Rick and Teresa Kaepernick. By age eight, Kaepernick started playing youth football as defensive end and punter. Ate age 9, he became the starting quarterback for the team. Kaepernick attended high school at the John H. Pitman High School, where he was not only a 4.0 GPA student, he was also a nominated All-State selection for football, basketball, as well as baseball during his senior year. In football, he was the Central California Conference MVP.
As he was preparing to enter college, Kaepernick received a good number of scholarships in baseball, since he also received most of his high school accolades from the sport. However, it was Kaepernick’s desire to play college football. It was the University of Nevada that was the only school to offer him a football scholarship, when no other college would. He started his football college career with Nevada. He played 11 out of the 13 games and played a total of 19 passing touchdowns, three interceptions, and a total of 2,175 passing yards. He made career records when he was only a sophomore, becoming the fifth NCAA player to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards or more in one season. During his sophomore year, he was awarded MVP, named the WAC Offensive Player of the Year and was also named the All-WAC quarterback. During his junior season, he became the first player to record back to back 2,000/1,000 yard seasons. After his senior season, his performance garnered praise from a number of NFL and ESPN personalities.
Kaepernick began his professional football career with the San Francisco 49ers, although he spent much of the season as backup to Alex Smith. It was when Alex Smith was recovering from injury that Kaepernick got his shot of starting quarterback. During his first career postseason start, Kaepernick managed to make an NFL single-game record most rushing yards by a quarterback and broke the 49ers postseason rushing record. With Kaepernick as starting quarterback, the team was able to advance to the Super Bowl XLVII, but ended with a loss. He was later offered a six year contract extension, but would opt out and become a free agent by 2016.
Kaepernick has made headlines since making a decision to sit down and/or take the knee during the playing of the US national anthem. This display was due to his stand against the oppression of black people and people of color. To this day, Kaepernick has not been signed to any team. He has since filed charges accusing the NFL of colluding to not hire him. He has, however, been elevated in status as he was named GQ magazine’s Citizen of the Year, making him the face of the oppression he stands against for.