Listen to this article here
Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
Since his highly controversial NFL exit in 2016, Colin Kaepernick has remained tight-lipped about his journey. Yet he’s slowly beginning to open up and now leaving his life story in the capable hands of Spike Lee.
Lee, who’s directed masterpieces since the 80s, is set to direct a multi-part documentary on the world’s most recognizable activist for ESPN Films.
On March 12, 2022, The Director’s Guild of America will honor Lee with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction. The Award will be presented to the Oscar winner at the 74th Annual DGA Awards.
Like a 21 Savage and J. Cole collaboration or hot sauce on fried fish – some things just make sense. Lee, aligning himself with Kaepernick not only bolsters the series credibility but will provide tangible creativity and nuance that literally any other director not named Spike Lee could offer.
Lee’s expert storytelling over his illustrious career has featured so many talented yet divisive historical figures. Malcolm X, Red Tails, Black KKKlansmen, Kobe Doin’ Work, A Huey P. Newton Story among many others.
Colin Kaepernick is a 1 of 1
“Kaepernick, who has never given a full, first-person account of his journey, is collaborating closely with Lee who plans to use extensive new interviews and a vast never-before-seen archive to help Kaepernick tell his story from his perspective,” the press release states.
After six NFL seasons as QB for the San Francisco 49ers, in August of 2016, Kaepernick was spotted seated during the national anthem. This single silent act would be captured by NFL cameras and reporters began to murmur.
America will not allow a ‘Black Messiah’
Colin Kaepernick’s life would never be the same again. After the game, he made a statement that shook White America to its core.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
After hearing this, it’s not an over-exaggeration to say that NFL fans lost their minds. He was soon vilified by the masses and castigated from the sport he loved. By January 1, 2017, Kaepernick had played his last game in the NFL.
Since then, protests to reinstate him in the league have occurred yet he remains unsigned. In 2019, Kaepernick settled a collusion lawsuit and also held a botched workout for potential NFL teams.
After speaking with only a handful of interviewers or at banquets since being ‘whiteballed,’ America remains intrigued by what he has to say. With Lee’s direction and Kaepernick’s story, they have one hell of a story to tell.
ESPN Films will executive produce the documentary, in association with 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks.