I don’t believe anyone wakes up any day of their lives intent on doing something so meaningful it has a significant impact. Those who try often fail, and whoever doesn’t try but succeeds ends up cited in history.
That seems to be the case here, or at the very least, it seems to be the intention of many to raise Colin Kaepernick to such a status. A six-part Netflix series has been announced focused on the former NFL player-turned-free agent-turned activist—and now part-time entertainer. (Kaepernick will join production of the show as a narrator.)
At the helm of “Colin in Black & White” is rising filmmaker Ava Duvernay, whom you may know from titles such as Selma, When They See Us, 13th, and Middle of Nowhere.
The series was developed in 2019 and written soon after. Actors will be portraying Colin as he grew up as an adopted child in a white family, all the way through his decision to kneel in 2016, which ultimately cost him his livelihood.
What is the intention here truly, though? That’s the real question. Is it to make him a poster boy for the current movement making waves in the country? Or one of the poster boys? If the intention is to showcase the hardships one may face when growing up “different” so to speak, then we could find hundreds of others—from both famous and unknown people—that could inspire young and old alike to either become something or change their current behavior.
If it is to demonstrate how deep racism runs, or to what extent it exists in sports, I can only say that the list of examples is long and many more could be used. Some that are still alive today. To inspire future generations of players in all fields. Their lives in a mini-series, detailing various aspects and decisions that shaped not only their worlds but ultimately that of many from thereafter.
Another question that can be asked is whether there is a necessity or not to politicize athletes. Sports have always been a way to unwind and have fun—not to discuss the next election or the atrocities of the world, however important they may be. We have witnessed in the past what the outcome of bringing politics and race can be in sports, and we may inadvertently end up in another conundrum altogether after these events.
Good, bad, neutral? Not many know; it could perhaps be a simpler way of bringing these matters to the attention of fans and players who often stay out of it or lack a lot of knowledge in the subjects.
Whichever it is, I will watch it and I hope quite a few of you will too. Perhaps if it’s able to enlighten us even a bit, it would have been of service. Otherwise, we can always have our opinions.
*Date of release is still to be announced as the production has faced delays due to Covid-19.