Kaepernick claims it has been ‘very difficult’ to call out his white parents for racism, then doubles down

Former NFL player turned racial activist Colin Kaepernick is apparently doubling down on calling his white adoptive parents racist, saying it has been “very difficult” to accuse them of racist attitudes, but claims he did it to help other transracial adoptees.

(Video Credit: CBS Mornings)

Seven years after leaving the NFL, Kaepernick, 35, and sociologist Eve Ewing have written a graphic novel together called “Change the Game.” In it, he speaks of his childhood and how his parents raised him. He also spoke of being pressured to play baseball, which he called a “white man’s sport,” but that he preferred football.

Kaepernick was given up for adoption when he was five weeks old by his 19-year-old biological mother. Rick and Teresa Kaepernick adopted him in 1987 and raised him in a loving home that started out in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. They moved to California when he was four years old. The couple had two other children when Kaepernick was adopted. Their six-year-old daughter, Devon, and her older brother, Kyle.

“CBS Mornings” interviewed Kaepernick, gushing over the graphic novel. While promoting it, he accused his adoptive parents of “perpetuating racism” because his mother told him when he was a teenager that corn rows looked unprofessional and that he “looked like a little thug.” He ungratefully whined that he had to experience “very problematic things” while growing up in their house.

“I know my parents loved me,” Kaepernick told CBS during the interview. “But there were still very problematic things that I went through.”

Thursday, Kaepernick and Ewing posted a discussion of the book online. Ewing teaches courses on education and racial inequality at the University of Chicago.

Ewing said that many “transracial adoptees that I know” would “see themselves and their story in this book.” She asserted that she felt the book dealt with feelings of isolation.

“I’ve had a lot of responses from other transracial adoptees on that front,” Kaepernick responded, agreeing with her. “Having similar experiences. And having similar family dynamics that they are trying to navigate. And because it is so unique, it is very difficult for people to have a nuanced conversation around it.”

“The people that love you and that you love can also perpetuate very problematic elements. Those things can exist at the same time,” he remarked.

The former football player says that he hopes the book will guide young people who are struggling with their identity.

“Part of it is like, how do you grapple with that? How do you navigate that? Especially at a young age,” he commented. “Are you equipped to navigate that? And are your parents equipped to navigate that?”

Ewing feels the book is relevant “across race; for cis parents raising trans kids; for hearing parents raising deaf kids; across gender identity and sexuality and so many other things.”

“I think we have to sit with these things and the tension. You can love somebody and still be capable of hurting them. I’m glad we’re having that conversation, but it is interesting how people pick it up,” she added.

Kaepernick’s parents claim they never had any issues with skin color within the family, which seems obvious because they adopted him.

In 2015, Kaepernick sang a different tune, telling the website Mr. Porter, “I never felt that I was supposed to be white. Or black, either. My parents just wanted to let me be who I needed to be.”

In fact, when a Sporting News columnist wrote a racially-charged article about Kaepernick in 2012, his mother told USA Today, “It annoyed me. You are categorizing this kid on something like tattoos? Really? That’s how you’re going to define this kid? It’s pretty irritating, but it is what it is.”

His father added, “Instead of saying that Colin does all these great things and donates his time to children, this guy is going to make him out like a gangster.”

Kaepernick was hammered for calling his parents racist yet again:


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