Kaepernick writing memoir about decision to protest during national anthem

(Reuters) - Colin Kaepernick, who sparked a national debate when he protested against racial injustice by kneeling during the U.S. national anthem, will publish a memoir later this year, the former NFL quarterback announced on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Colin Kaepernick is seen at a special training event created by Kaepernick to provide greater access to scouts, the media, and the public, at Charles. R. Drew High School in Riverdale, Georgia, U.S., November 16, 2019. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

The book will be released by Kaepernick Publishing who described it as “part political awakening and part memoir” and said it would reveal the life experiences that led him to risk his NFL career in one silent act of protest.

“My protest was the culmination of years of thought and experiences, of learning and unlearning,” Kaepernick said in a news release.

“I want to tell the story of my evolution, and the events that led me to protest systemic oppression, in hope that it will inspire others to rise in action.”

No title or release date for the memoir was announced.

The former quarterback popularized the gesture of kneeling during pre-game renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2016 while a member of the San Francisco 49ers. He became a free agent after that season.

Many other NFL players and athletes from several other sports joined in the protest -- either by kneeling, sitting, raising fists or linking arms -- but the action has all but disappeared from the world of sports.

Kaepernick, 32, has been unable to find a team to play for ever since and many experts attribute his political activism, which triggered a movement that drew the ire of U.S. President Donald Trump, as the key reason teams are wary of signing him.

The NFL invited every NFL team to a Kaepernick workout last November but the quarterback moved the tryout to a new location at the last minute amid a disagreement over media access and only a handful of team representatives attended.

Kaepernick founded Kaepernick Publishing in 2019 to create opportunities for other black and brown writers. Inc’s Audible will release an audio version of the memoir.

“I am excited that through this groundbreaking partnership between Kaepernick Publishing and Audible, we can elevate Black and Brown voices who can empower future generations,” said Kaepernick.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis