Colin Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay are teaming up on a scripted series on the former NFL quarterback’s teenage years.
Kaepernick has effectively been exiled from the NFL since the end of the 2016 season after he protested against police brutality and racial injustice by refusing to stand for the national anthem. Since then he has become a prominent figure in the US civil rights movement.
“Too often we see race and black stories portrayed through a white lens,” said Kaepernick in a statement. “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.”
DuVernay was behind two critically acclaimed Netflix productions dealing with race in the United States. When They See Us, which dealt with the 1989 Central Park jogger case, was nominated for several Emmys, while 13th, a documentary exploring racial injustice in the US criminal justice system, was nominated for an Oscar.
“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,” said DuVernay in a statement. “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.”
Writing on the series finished in May, but a release date for the six-part series has yet to be announced.
The NFL recently apologized for failing to listen to players who protested against racial injustice. There have been reports some teams are interested in signing Kaepernick, who is still only 32.