NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick first made waves in the news when he stepped in for injured quarterback Alex Smith to lead the San Francisco 49ers to compete for a superbowl. From then on, Kaepernick had a starting job with the 49ers and would subsequently go on to use his platform to make quite possibly the most impactful political stance over the past decade. This was during the 2016 season when he decided to kneel during the national anthem as a stand against the police brutality being shown towards African Americans throughout the country, a decision that has drawn the praise of some and the ire of others. Kaepernick has now ultimately become arguably one of the most substantial political figureheads over the past decade, drawing support from the likes of Jay-Z to Netflix, who has previously announced plans to tell the story of a young Colin Kaepernick in a series titled Colin in Black and White and has just casted Mary-Louise Parker and Nick Offerman to play his adoptive parents.
Though Netflix announced plans to develop a six episode series about a high school aged Kaepernick at the beginning of the year, the COVID pandemic has slowed down productions around the world so much that Netflix has only just begun scouting their supporting cast. The streaming giant previously announced that 17 year old Jaden Michael, who most recently starred in their 2020 film Vampires vs.the Bronx, will be starring in the role of a teenage Kaepernick, with Kaepernick uniting with Emmy winner Ava DuVernay to create the series and Michael Starbury to pen the script. While this may be a big shot for the teenage Michael, Netflix clearly has faith in the young talent, and will be surrounding him with a strong supporting cast to help ensure his success, with industry veterans Mary-Louise Parker, the star of HBO series Weeds, and Nick Offerman, best known for his stint as Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation, playing his parents. Kaepernick’s experience growing up as an African American teen growing up in a white household is substantial to say the least in light of his story, and this duality will be explored in the series by Netflix, as indicated by the title Colin in Black and White.
Kaepernick’s decision to kneel has been seen as one of the initial sparks in the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement, a movement that has only gained further traction over the past few years as police brutality has seemingly not slowed down. It isn’t surprising that Netflix has decided to take on the story, and it is seemingly more necessary now than ever as the quarterback’s initial goal still has not been realized. Instances of police brutality have been littered throughout 2020 despite the heavy quarantine restrictions put in place around the country, only highlighting how far the country still is far from the equality the quarterback was hoping for. The Black Lives Matter movement has not shown any signs of slowing down, if anything just gaining considerable momentum in 2020 despite everything that has occurred this year, illustrating how deeply rooted this movement is in American society, and the necessity in exploring topics that only help further the movement, such as the life story of one of its greatest figureheads. Though the pandemic has slowed down productions across the globe, Netflix appears to be slowly marching forward regardless to provide customers with entertainment as the world continues to battle COVID.