A NEW Netflix series based on the young life of former NFL quarterback and Black Lives Matter activist Colin Kaepernick is currently in the works.
The network announced Monday that Kaepernick would be working with renowned filmmaker Ava DuVernay for the limited, six-episode scripted series – Colin in Black & White.
The series will focus on Kaepernick's teen years, including his upbringing as an adopted Black child growing up in a white community, as well as his early triumphs on the football field, according to Deadline.
Michael Starrbury has reportedly penned the script for the show, and Kaepernick himself will narrate the series. Scripts for the show were completed in May 2020 and Deadline reported that the network plans to start shooting the series in the fall.
Starrbury and DuVerney last worked together on Netflix's When They See Us, the critically-acclaimed series that told the story of the Central Park Five. The series was nominated for 16 Emmy Awards.
Kaepernick's story, and his role in the Black Lives Matter movement, has drawn both praise and criticism over the years.
The former NFL quarterback, who played six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, protested racial injustice and police brutality in 2016 when he took a knee during the national anthem before a game.
Even though his protest inspired other players to take a knee during the anthem as well, it also drew backlash from viewers, the league and even from President Donald Trump – who urged team owners to fire players who refused to stand during the anthem.
Kaepernick became a free agent in 2017 and remains one to this day. In August 2017, the former quarterback filed a lawsuit claiming the NFL was conspiring to keep him off teams because of his protests. The suit was settled in 2019.
Now, a renewed focus on racial injustice in the United States, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, has led to much more wide-spread support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was recently quoted encouraging teams to sign Kaepernick. The league admitted earlier this month that it was wrong for not listening to protesting players in the past.
On the new series, DuVernay said that the national conversation Kaepernick's protests launched make his story a really important one to tell right now.
"With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture and for him, personally," DuVernay said. "Colin's story has much to say about identity, sports and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn't be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix."
Kaepernick added that it's important for him to tell his story in a way that reflects the reality of being a Black American.
"Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” said Kaepernick. “We seek to give new perspective to the differing realities that Black people face. We explore the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years. It’s an honor to bring these stories to life in collaboration with Ava for the world to see."
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