The Truth About Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick has a legacy in the football world. He is the activist responsible for starting the peaceful anthem protest that has now been adopted by several sports leagues (via CNN). Since backlash started pouring in over the player taking a knee during the national anthem to draw attention to police brutality and other forms of racism in the United States, he has not played a professional football game.

He is determined to get back on the field, saying he still trains religiously. "I am still up at 5 a.m. training five, six days a week making sure I'm prepared to take a team to a Super Bowl again," the free agent, who has been unclaimed in the trade market since 2017, shared.

Some people believe that Kaepernick is still unsigned because of a lack of support for his activism, while others, like The Undefeated, claim his issues with finding a spot on a team's roster began long before he kneeled and are more so centered around his playing ability.

Regardless of the reasons behind his inability to land an NFL contract, he has become an activist many look up to (including some celebs). While everyone knows his name and has certainly come to their own conclusions about the former San Francisco 49ers player, there is a lot about his life that casual fans and haters alike are unaware of.

Colin Kaepernick was adopted

While Colin Kaepernick's activism is the main source of conversation surrounding the player's life, many people are unaware of his life story. Kaepernick was born on November 3, 1987, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (via AmoMama). He was born to a 19-year-old mother who cared for him for six weeks before placing him for adoption. He was then adopted by Teresa and Rick Kaepernick, who were looking for a third child to add to their family after losing two of their sons in infancy to a heart condition.

Teresa recalled the day Colin was adopted. "The minute I picked him up, I just cried. We gave her [his mother] a big hug. And she needed a couple more minutes. And then we left."

Being raised in a home with white parents in a mostly white neighborhood, Kaepernick always felt like the odd man out. He told Ebony Magazine, "[O]ne of the pieces of being Black and being adopted into a white family [is that there] are conversations that I just couldn't have or didn't feel comfortable having." He cites his childhood and what he endured growing up as a Black man in a white family as one of his inspirations for getting involved in civil rights activism.

His birth mother hasn't been quite as supportive

While Colin Kaepernick's adoptive parents have been supportive of his peaceful protests against police brutality, plenty of other people have not. However, one of the more surprising voices to come out against him includes his birth mother, Heidi Russo. As of this writing, the two haven't been together since she gave him up for adoption. Per Sportscasting, Russo kept in touch with his adoptive mother, but it seems to be his decision to not meet with Russo.

That hasn't stopped her from weighing in with her thoughts on his protest style. In a statement to Westword in 2020, she said, "I completely support and agree with what his protest is all about, and I always have. I just never agreed with the manner in which he chose to do it." She made it clear just how much she disagreed in tweets to her biological son. One read: "There's ways to make change w/o disrespecting & bringing shame to the very country & family who afforded you so many blessings" (per Twitter). She also criticized him for raising money for legal fees to help protesters arrested in 2020, following the widespread demonstrations after George Floyd's death.

Still, she seems to hold out hope that she'll get to have a conversation with the son she gave up for adoption many years ago.

Colin Kaepernick is dating an MTV host

If you are a fan of the "Teen Mom" franchise on MTV, you likely recognize the woman Colin Kaepernick has been dating since 2015. Nessa Diab is best known for her role as the host of "Teen Mom Live" and co-host of the "Teen Mom" reunions alongside Dr. Drew. However, when she is not hosting the show, she is also involved in activism work like her famous boyfriend (via Heavy).

The couple launched their own organization to help fight social injustices. According to the Know Your Rights Camp website, the group aims to help Black and brown people through education and empowerment. The organization also seeks to support the next generation's leaders.

The pair have a strong relationship. "It's liberating when you love people," Diab told Paper. "It's liberating when you want to see goodness happen because you love them. For me, I know loving Colin has liberated me to a point where, if we can't do good for this world, I don't want to be here. And if I can't do it with him, I don't want to exist here."