SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick posted social media messages on the Fourth of July detailing what he called his quest to find his “personal independence.”
Kaepernick spent July 4th in Ghana where he has traced his ancestry, visiting the sites where slaves embarked on their journey aboard ships to the New World.
A video of the Ghana visit posted to his Twitter and Instagram accounts begins with a quote from abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglass: “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence?”
On Instagram, Kaepernick detailed his thoughts.
“In a quest to find my personal independence, I had to find out where my ancestors came from. I set out tracing my African ancestral roots, and it lead me to Ghana. Upon finding out this information, I wanted to visit the sites responsible for myself (and many other Black folks in the African Diaspora) for being forced into the hells of the middle passage. I wanted to see a fraction of what they saw before reaching the point of no return. I spent time with the/my Ghanaian people, from visiting the local hospital in Keta and the village of Atito, to eating banku in the homes of local friends, and paying my respects to Kwame Nkrumah’s Memorial Park. I felt their love, and truly I hope that they felt mine in return.”
KPIX 5 political analyst and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown noted while the posts celebrate Kaepernick’s ancestry, for his detractors it says much more. “[The posts] simultaneously proceed to say, that Independence Day was not to be celebrated,” said Brown.
It’s believed Kaepernick’s silent protests during the playing of the national anthem and his outspoken view on police brutality have stopped NFL teams who otherwise could use an experienced and playoff-tested quarterback from signing him. Meanwhile, plenty of statistically inferior free-agent quarterbacks have managed to hook up with a number of teams.
The video raises the looming question: Is this a man who has moved on from football?
“Kaepernick is making himself absolutely unemployable,” said Brown.
League owners, some of whom are desperate for a quarterback, have shown no interest in accepting Kaepernick’s degree of personal expression. “No room [in the NFL] for this kind of personal expression,” said Brown. “I wouldn’t even elevate it to politics.”
So with just three weeks before the NFL starts winding up for another season, our latest glimpse of Kaepernick is on a field in Ghana, and maybe that’s an indication of where the man’s future is heading.
“He could very well become a celebrity world advocate for humanity, without ever risking having a concussion.”