Colin Kaepernick is a former American football quarterback who played 6 seasons in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers. He was drafted by the 49ers in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Kaepernick is known for his athleticism and strong arm and led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. However, he garnered national attention in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. This controversial form of protest later became a movement across the NFL and other sports.
Biography and Early Life
Colin Rand Kaepernick was born on November 3, 1987 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was adopted and raised by Teresa and Rick Kaepernick. As a child, Kaepernick became interested in football, basketball and baseball and was a standout athlete at John H. Pitman High School. He earned All-State honors in football, basketball and baseball during his high school career.
Kaepernick received a football scholarship to the University of Nevada, where he was redshirted his first year. From 2008-2010, he starred at quarterback for the Nevada Wolf Pack, passing for over 10,000 yards and rushing for over 4,000 yards in his 4 year collegiate career. His accomplishments at Nevada included setting numerous school records, becoming the only player in NCAA history to pass for over 10,000 yards and rush for over 4,000 yards, and leading the Wolf Pack to a 13-1 record his senior year.
Kaepernick was drafted 36th overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2011 NFL Draft. He began his rookie season as a backup to Alex Smith and played sparingly. However, when Smith suffered a concussion midway through the 2012 season, Kaepernick took over the starting role. He electrified fans with his dual-threat capabilities both as a passer and runner. That year, he led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, where they ultimately lost to the Baltimore Ravens.
Over the next few seasons, Kaepernick had ups and downs but remained the 49ers starter, making another run to the NFC Championship after the 2013 season. Statistically, his best season was 2014 when he threw for 3,369 yards with 19 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions.
However, during the 2016 preseason, Kaepernick began protesting police brutality and racial injustice by sitting or kneeling during the national anthem. This created a huge controversy across the NFL and country. Kaepernick opted out of his contract after the 2016 season and became a free agent, but went unsigned by any team. He filed a grievance against NFL owners for collusion to keep him out of the league and eventually settled in 2019.
Kaepernick has not played professional football since 2016. But his protests sparked a movement and debate across America about racial justice, free speech, and patriotism. He has continued his activism, pledging money to organizations to fight oppression and launching the Know Your Rights Camp to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and legal rights for youth.
Net Worth and Endorsements
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Colin Kaepernick has an estimated net worth of $20 million as of 2023. During his 6 NFL seasons from 2011-2016, Kaepernick earned over $43 million in salary from the 49ers. His largest salary season was in 2016 when he made $14.3 million.
Kaepernick signed endorsement deals with companies like Nike, Beats by Dre, and Electronic Arts during his playing career. In 2011, he signed a 6 year deal with Nike worth up to $1 million per year. After becoming a free agent, Kaepernick signed a new multi-year deal with Nike in 2018 to make him one of the faces of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The exact amount of this deal is undisclosed.
Kaepernick also has had other ventures, investing in the vegan restaurant chain By Chloe in 2019. He owns the company Kaepernick Publishing which produces books telling stories from a minority perspective and puts on conferences promoting activism and leadership.
Personal Life and Activism
Colin Kaepernick is approximately 6’4″ and 230 lbs with several tattoos covering his arms, chest and back representing his heritage and beliefs. He has been in a relationship with radio and television personality Nessa Diab since 2015.
Kaepernick’s protests during the national anthem incited both passionate praise and criticism from 2016 onwards. He has continued being an activist off the field, pledging to donate $1 million to “organizations working in oppressed communities” in 2016. In 2020, he also created the Know Your Rights Camp to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, legal rights and more for disadvantaged youth.
Kaepernick expresses pride in his biracial background and has spoken out extensively against police brutality, especially towards minorities. His activism has made him one of the most polarizing athletes of his generation.
Colin Kaepernick has left a complicated but undoubtedly influential legacy both on and off the football field. Though he has not played in the NFL since 2016, he brought national attention towards issues like racial injustice and police reform. His net worth of $20 million is due both to his lucrative NFL contracts and endorsement deals with major brands like Nike that align with his values. Kaepernick continues to be an activist focused on empowering oppressed communities and minorities.