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Kaepernick joins web publisher Medium with focus on race, civil rights

Colin Kaepernick stands in the bench area during a game between the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets.
Colin Kaepernick stands in the bench area during a game between the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets. Kaepernick will join Medium’s board of directors in a new content deal.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Colin Kaepernick, the American football quarterback and antiracism activist, is linking his publishing label with the blogging and essay platform Medium and joining its board.

Kaepernick Publishing will create feature content focused on race and civil rights, Medium said in a statement Thursday.

“We’ve been in talks with Colin for some time, and we are honored to be electing him to join our board,” Medium Chief Executive Ev Williams said in the statement. “Colin’s voice and actions have led the discussion on racial justice, and the world is finally catching up to him.”

Kaepernick was a quarterback with the National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers in 2016 when he started kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and anti-Black racism. Several other players followed suit, leading to widespread discussion and controversy. Kaepernick left the 49ers in 2017 and hasn’t played since.

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Medium said Kaepernick will write stories, collaborate on features and conduct interviews for its race-focused Level outlet and the recently launched civil rights blog Momentum.

In the statement, Kaepernick said he is excited to work with Medium on elevating Black voices in news and publishing. “I also look forward to creating new opportunities and avenues for Black writers and creators with my new role as a board member,” he said.

Kaepernick’s activism is getting new consideration amid the national reckoning on race that has followed the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for not listening to protesting players, and encouraged teams to give Kaepernick a chance to try out.

President Trump remains opposed to players kneeling but also said Kaepernick should have an opportunity to play. “If he has the playing ability,” Trump said in an interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. “He was — he started off great, and then he didn’t end up very great in terms of as a player.”


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