Colin Kaepernick plans to tell all.
The former 49ers quarterback announced Thursday he is writing a memoir, set to be released later this year through his newly formed publishing company, Kaepernick Publishing.
“I’ve had a lot of questions surrounding what got me to the point of protesting," he told USA Today's Jarrett Bell on Thursday. "Why did I do it? Why did I do it at that moment? Why wasn’t it earlier in my career? A lot of questions surrounding what led me to that point. Which led me to wanting to share that story and give insight. So I think there’s a lot of interest around it, but time will tell when the book comes out.”
Kaepernick, 32, has not played in the NFL since opting out of his contract with the 49ers in 2017 once Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch took over as San Francisco's coach and general manager, respectively. In the 2016 season, Kaepernick first sat -- then later kneeled, after consulting with former Green Beret Nate Boyer -- during the playing of the national anthem before games in an effort to protest police brutality against African Americans and systemic oppression.
The QB, who led the 49ers to appearances in the Super Bowl and NFC Championship Game in back-to-back seasons in 2012 and 2013, faced criticism from some of his peers and politicians, including from Donald Trump in the lead-up to his presidential election in 2016, for "not respecting" the American flag or the country's veterans. Kaepernick, however, insisted his protest was not directed at American servicemembers.
Many athletes, including then-49ers teammate Eric Reid and American soccer star Megan Rapinoe, joined Kaepernick in his protest in 2016. Some 49ers continued to kneel during the 2017 season while Kaepernick remained a free agent, and Vice President Mike Pence staged a highly publicized walk-out when 23 San Francisco players kneeled before the 49ers' Oct. 8, 2017 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Kaepernick, suspecting he was black-balled by NFL owners who didn't want to sign him because of his protest, settled a collusion lawsuit with the league last February. The NFL organized a workout in Atlanta for Kaepernick in November, but he moved the workout to another location after the league denied media access and requested that Kaepernick sign a liability waiver that his attorneys deemed "unusual."
The 32-year-old insisted Thursday that he still wants to play, nearly four years after he took his last snap.
“My desire to play football is still there,” Kaepernick told Bell. “I still train five days a week. I’m ready to go, I’m ready for a phone call, tryout, workout at any point in time. I’m still waiting on the owners and their partners to stop running from this situation. So I hope I get a call this offseason. I’ll be looking forward to it.”
Kaepernick told Bell that "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" was "a book that changed my life," and he wanted to channel his lifelong interest in literature into "ownership over my story." He plans on releasing an audiobook of his memoir through Audible, where he'll also content from other authors under his publishing house. Kaepernick said he's driven to give writers of color a chance to control their narratives, too.
“It’s not just my control over stories,” Kaepernick said. “We wanted to be able to put the power back into the hands of the people that are telling the stories and the people that are writing the stories and creating them. We didn’t want to monopolize that and hold that to ourselves. It’s something that should be distributed to the people who are putting in the work to be able to tell their stories and tell them in a genuine and authentic way."