Colin Kaepernick is one of the most famous and revolutionary football players in the history of the NFL. While he got worldwide recognition for kneeling during the national anthem for his beliefs about racism, he was a key player for the San Francisco 49ers. His skills as a quarterback made him earn outstanding individual recognitions while also leading the team to an honorary stage: the Super Bowl.
Colin Kaepernick Quick Facts
- Full Name: Colin Rand Kaepernick
- Birth Date: November 3, 1987
- Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Nickname: Kap
- Nationality: American
- Siblings: 5 — 4 brothers and 1 sister
- Children: None
- Spouse/Partner: Nessa Diab
- Profession: Football player/Activist/Publisher
- Salary: 14.3M (2016)
- Net worth: ≈20M
- Social media: @kaepernick7 (Twitter and Instagram)
- Awards: Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year (2008, 2010), most rushing yards by a quarterback in one NFL game (181 yards), most rushing yards by a quarterback in one NFL postseason (264 yards).
- Last Updated: 08/09/2021
Colin Kaepernick’s Birthplace and Early life
A complicated but full of support childhood
On November 3, 1987, Heidi Russo gave birth to Colin Kaepernick in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Heidi’s life at the moment was a very difficult one. She was only 19 years old, and the father was nowhere to be found. Russo gave the now football star for adoption to Teresa and Rick Kaepernick— a nurse and a businessman in the cheese industry from Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin.
The Kaepernicks started to be Colin’s official parents 5 weeks after he was born. When the 49ers quarterback was 4 years old, Rick and Teresa decided to move to Turlock, California. While Colin’s new parents and siblings are white, they always made him feel accepted and never wanted him to deny his black roots.
Colin had difficult situations in his childhood because of the difference between him and the rest of his family. People would not feel like he was part of it, and that created humiliating and uncomfortable moments for him.
Kaepernick was into sports since he was a child. He started to play football when he was only 8 years old. Colin went to John H Pitman High School, and apart from excelling at baseball, basketball, and football —he earned All-State nominations in each sport —he was also an outstanding student with a 4.0 GPA.
In his senior year, Colin threw for 1956 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was also a key player in a very important milestone for the Turlock high school: the team won their first game in a playoffs stage. Kaepernick also completed 112 out of 188 passes for 25 touchdowns.
The quarterback from Wisconsin had a 24 RBI in baseball in his junior and senior years. He also scored an average of 15.4 points per game when he played basketball. While he was into all 3 sports and received several offers from universities to get him to play baseball for them, he wanted to pursue a scholarship to play football. Just one university offered him one: the University of Nevada, Reno.
Kaepernick and the Wolf Pack
In 2007, Colin Kaepernick began his university and sports journey with the Wolf Pack as a backup quarterback. Even as a backup, in his freshman year, he played in 11 games, had 19 passing touchdowns, and 2175 passing yards. As Colin grew older, he improved his skills on the field. He went from having a pass completion percentage of 53.8 in his first year to a 64.9% as a senior.
In his second year as a part of the Wolf Pack, Colin became the 5th NCAA player to record 2,000 passing yards and rush for 1,000 yards or more. That same year, Colin became the second player from Nevada, and the first Wolf Pack quarterback, to win the Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
This was an honor he also received in 2010. Kaepernick became the third quarterback in the history of the NCAA to pass for 20 touchdowns and rush for 20 touchdowns in just one season. During his 4 years at the University of Nevada, he recorded more than 10,000 passing yards, and he earned a management degree.
Colin Kaepernick’s Professional Career
Six years with the San Francisco 49ers
Colin’s dream of being a part of the San Francisco 49ers — a dream that was widely known about because of a letter he wrote when he was 11 years old — became a reality in late April 2011. Kaepernick was the 36th pick (overall) in the NFL Draft. His first year was uneventful, as it is for many starters.
He was a backup quarterback, and he only got to play in 3 games. In 2012, the 6ft 4” player from Wisconsin started to gain more regularity on the field, not only because Alex Smith—the starting quarterback for the 49ers at the moment —suffered a concussion, but for his dynamism.
That year, Kaepernick played in 13 games — his first game as a starter was a categorical win against the Chargers on November 19. Kaepernick finished the season with a 62.39% in pass completion (his best in comparison to the other 5 years he played in the NFL). 2012 was key in Colin’s career as a football player.
The 49ers were a robust team: they won the division and the conference, which consequently lead to a tough battle against the Ravens in the Super Bowl. San Francisco lost 31-34 with Kaepernick throwing for 302 yards, completing 16 passes out of 28, running for one touchdown, and having one passing touchdown.
After San Francisco’s appearance in Super Bowl XLVII, the team’s ability to stay on top became difficult to sustain. Kaepernick and the 49ers made it to the playoffs in 2013, and he even signed a six-year contract, but from then on, the team started to go down the hill, and it was not possible for them to get to the playoffs for several years.
A revolutionary action and the present
2016 was a tough and conflictive year for Kaepernick. During a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, the quarterback from Wisconsin decided not to stand up and kneeled while the national anthem was playing. For him, this was a way to protest discrimination. For others, it was a scandal and a huge disrespect. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
These were some of Colin Kaepernick’s words when interviewed about his decision. Both San Francisco and the NFL recognized the quarterback’s right to not participate but did not mention if they supported said decision. That same year, Colin was also working on recovering from several injuries, and it was hard for him to be back on the team in full shape. He got to play once again in the sixth game of the regular season.
After throwing for more than 12,000 yards and completing 1011 out of 1692 passes, starting a long-overdue conversation about racism, and not fitting a new coach’s ideals for the team, Kaepernick opted out of his contract in March 2017.
Kap has not officially retired from football, but he has not played in the NFL since 2016. He has turned to activism and publishing instead. He signed with Disney to be part of a docuseries produced by ESPN Films. According to ESPN, the partnership will focus on telling scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice, and the quest for equity. Colin’s latest announcement regarding his publishing business is a children’s book called I Color Myself Different.
Colin Kaepernick’s Best Moments
Kaepernick is recognized for his accuracy when throwing while running, for his scrambling, and his precise passes over the middle. The quarterback has a way to deceive any defense and make them believe he is going to pass, but when he starts running, you can be sure a touchdown is nearby. Want to watch more of Kaepernick’s magic on the field? Check out this compilation of his touchdowns.
Colin Kaepernick’s family
Colin Kaepernick’s close family is composed of his girlfriend Nessa Diab, a radio and TV host; his parents, Rick and Teresa; Devon and Kyle, his brothers. Colin’s adoptive family has been very supportive of him from the beginning and has defended him in the stadiums and in social media.
It is said that Kaepernick does not have a relationship with his birth mother, Heidi, but she insists on communicating several of her thoughts about his decisions on her Twitter account. Heidi has 3 other children, which biologically makes them Colin’s half-brothers.
Colin Kaepernick’s net worth and career earnings
Colin Kaepernick’s net worth is an estimated USD 20,000,000.00. According to Spotrac, his 6-year career with San Francisco made him earn a total of USD 43,479,216.00.
Colin Kaepernick’s famous quotes
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Frequently asked questions
Question: What does Colin Kaepernick do for a living?
Answer: Colin Kaepernick played football for the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2016. From then on, he has turned to activism, publishing, and the film industry.
Question: Is Colin Kaepernick in the NFL right now?
Answer: After kneeling during the national anthem back in 2016, it was very difficult for Colin to be signed again. He has not played in the NFL since then.
Question: Why did Colin Kaepernick take a knee?
Answer: Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem on a preseason game as a protest against racism.
Question: Who is Colin Kaepernick?
Answer: Colin Kaepernick is one of the most famous and revolutionary football players in the history of the NFL. While he got worldwide recognition for kneeling during the national anthem for his beliefs about racism, he was a key player for the San Francisco 49ers. His skills as a quarterback made him earn outstanding individual recognitions while also leading the team to an honorary stage: the Super Bowl.
- Athletes who made a difference: Colin Kaepernick – Blake Hoena
- Colin Kaepernick Career Stats | NFL.com
- Colin Kaepernick explains why he sat during national anthem (nfl.com)
- Colin Kaepernick’s birth mom (espn.com)
- Colin Kaepernick: Past, present and future – Turlock Journal
- Colin Kaepernick College Stats | College Football at Sports-Reference.com
- Colin Kaepernick Injury: Updates on 49ers QB’s Recovery from Thumb, Knee Surgery | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
- Colin Kaepernick, Disney announce partnership, including ESPN documentary series – The Washington Post
- The file on Colin Kaepernick | RSN (nbcsports.com)
- Colin Kaepernick honored by Pitman High School Hall of Fame – Sports Illustrated
- Colin Kaepernick ‘explores’ idea of grad school (usatoday.com)
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