Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick opened up about his childhood and being raised by white parents.
In an interview with CBS News on Thursday, Kaepernick, 35, spoke about what it was like to grow up with his adoptive parents, Rick and Teresa Kaepernick.
“I know my parents loved me, but there were still very problematic things that I went through,” he revealed.
“I think it was important to show that, ‘No, this can happen in your own home.’ And how do we move forward collectively while addressing the racism that is being perpetuated,” he added.
Kaepernick claimed when he decided to get cornrows as a teenager, his mother told him that his hair wasn’t “professional” and that he “looked like a little thug.”
“Those become spaces where it’s like, ‘OK, how do I navigate this situation now?’ But it also has informed why I have my hair long today,” he explained.
Kaepernick also spoke about the controversial decision he made in 2016 to kneel during the national anthem to protest “police brutality” and “systemic racism,” according to People. This negatively affected his career.
He told CBS News that despite what others saw, during that moment, he wasn’t “this person all along” and that it took “growth” to get there.
Although he wants to play for the NFL again, Kaepernick shared how he deals with the constant rejection.
“You know, very similar to the messaging of the book is I don’t have control over all of these situations. But I control how I respond to it, I control how I prepare for it, and I’m a believer that in doing that, good things will happen,” he said.