The transformation from NFL quarterback to celebrity Social Justice Warrior is now complete.
According to Variety, Colin Kaepernick’s “49ers quarterback to civil-rights activist” will be chronicled in a documentary series by ESPN Films and Kaepernick’s Ra Vision Media production company. It’s part of a “first-look” deal with the Walt Disney Company.
Under terms of the pact, announced Monday, Disney and Ra Vision will emphasize scripted and unscripted stories that deal with race, social injustice and the quest for equity, and work to showcase directors and producers of color. Disney said the agreement would extend across its units, including Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar and The Undefeated, an ESPN venue that focuses on matters of race in sports. Kaepernick is slated to work closely with The Undefeated, which Disney said would expand its portfolio across the company.
“I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives,” Kaepernick said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing.”
Former ESPN SportsCenter co-host, Jemele Hill, who called President Trump a white supremacist who surrounded himself with white supremacists, is on-board as a producer on the project. Hill frequently weighed in on politics and invoked race often during her time on ESPN, and eventually, the network bought out her contract.
According to Variety, the ESPN/Disney docu-series will include “new interviews as well as never-seen-before archival material that documents the most recent years of Kapernick’s life.”
This is in contrast to the other autobiographical series deal that Kaepernick signed with Netflix earlier this year. The project, Colin in Black & White, will “examine Kaepernick’s high school years to illuminate the experiences that shaped his advocacy.” Critically-acclaimed director, Ava DuVernay has signed on to help with that six-episode series slated to be released later this year.
The deal with ESPN/Disney will not just be about himself, however, it’s so much more than that. The plan is to create content by minority directors, creators, storytellers, and producers which will be shared across Disney media properties like Pixar animation and the Hulu streaming service.
“Colin has had a singular path as both an athlete and an activist, and, as the nation continues to confront racism and social injustice, it feels particularly relevant to hear Colin’s voice on his evolution and motivations,” said Jimmy Piatro, ESPN’s president.
The Undefeated intends to partner with Kaepernick to “elevate important stories of lives too often unseen and to deliver them to a vast audience across The Walt Disney Company,” said Kevin Merida, senior vice president and editor in chief. “We want to continue to call attention to the issues of racial injustice that America is wrestling with, and do that in new, compelling ways.”
After years of failing to secure a comeback into the NFL, Kaepernick has decided that media is his thing, and it’s certainly paying off.
In June, Kaepernick joined the Board of Directors for Medium, a media company, and Kaepernick’s media company will partner with Medium to ” create and feature stories focused on race and civil rights in America, and to elevate emerging voices from communities of color.”
Social justice isn’t going away anytime soon, it seems.
And neither is Colin Kaepernick.