Activist and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has signed a deal with The Walt Disney Co. that will yield an ESPN Films-produced documentary series.
The deal, according to ESPN, is between Ra Vision Media (the athlete’s production company) and The Walt Disney Co., and will focus on “telling scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity.” Also, the statement said the deal will help showcase the work of directors and producers of color, and Kaepernick will work with The Undefeated to develop stories from the perspective of communities of color.
The deal, ESPN said, will include all Disney platforms such as Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar and The Undefeated.
“During this unprecedented time, The Walt Disney Co. remains committed to creating diverse and inclusive content that resonates and matters,” Disney executive chairman Bob Iger said in a statement. “Colin’s experience gives him a unique perspective on the intersection of sports, culture and race, which will undoubtedly create compelling stories that will educate, enlighten and entertain, and we look forward to working with him on this important collaboration.”
The first project that is in development, according to ESPN, is a docuseries chronicling Kaepernick’s journey.
“I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives,” Kaepernick said in a statement. “I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing.”
ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro added, “Developing exceptional storytelling told through a wide array of voices is at the core of who we are at ESPN. Colin has had a singular path as both an athlete and an activist, and, as the nation continues to confront racism and social injustice, it feels particularly relevant to hear Colin’s voice on his evolution and motivations.”
Kaepernick, who once led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance, hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016.
Before his Aug. 26, 2016, preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, the quarterback sat during the national anthem in protest over the treatment of minorities. He then spoke with Nate Boyer, a former NFL long snapper and retired U.S. Army Green Beret, who suggested kneeling would be a more digestible form of protest.
Two years after his protests, Nike tapped Kaepernick to star in a pair of ad campaigns. First, on Labor Day 2018, the athlete was featured in the brand’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” efforts, which showed a closeup image of his face with the caption “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Three days later, Nike revealed its “Dream Crazy” short film narrated by Kaepernick (who also made an appearance at the end) during the 2018 NFL regular season opener between the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons.
During his time away from the league, there have been several products tied to Kaepernick that have hit stores. Nike, for instance, released the Air Force 1 x Colin Kaepernick on Dec. 23, 2019, in full-family sizing. The sneaker quickly sold out, however pairs are available in men’s sizes on the resale market today including StockX for as low as $148 and GOAT for $150 and up. Nike also released a Kaepernick long-sleeved T-shirt and a football jersey, which are also available on the resale market now. (They are on StockX for as low as $190 and $1,100, respectively.)
Also, Kaepernick — through his Know Your Rights Camp — has several apparel and outerwear available now, which can be purchased via Shoe Palace’s website. The products available range in price from $20 to $100.