Colin Kaepernick, Disney ink partnership deal
The 32-year-old former NFL quarterback said in a statement that he was thrilled to partner with the sports network in order to “elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives.”
“I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing,” Kaepernick added of the “historic partnership” brought on in collaboration with his production company Ra Vision Media and the Mickey Mouse network.
Through the partnership, Kaepernick will see his projects distributed across all Disney platforms which include ESPN, Hulu, The Undefeated, Pixar, and The Walt Disney Co.
Bob Iger, Disney’s executive chairman, said in a statement Monday that the network is “committed to creating diverse and inclusive content that resonates and matters.”
“Colin’s experience gives him a unique perspective on the intersection of sports, culture and race, which will undoubtedly create compelling stories that will educate, enlighten and entertain, and we look forward to working with him on this important collaboration,” Iger said.
Kaepernick became the face of a Nike campaign in 2018, some two years after he seemingly risked his NFL playing career in order by kneeling during the national anthem to protest against racial injustice and police brutality. In that time, he has worked closely with The Undefeated to create stories for and told by those in Black and Brown communities.
The first project that is expected to drop is slated to be a docuseries that will reportedly center on the last five years of Kaepernick’s journey and will debut new and unseen interviews.
Jemele Hill, who previously worked as a writer and TV host for ESPN and The Undefeated, is a producer on the project.
“Developing exceptional storytelling told through a wide array of voices is at the core of who we are at ESPN,” ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro said. “Colin has had a singular path as both an athlete and an activist, and as the nation continues to confront racism and social injustice, it feels particularly relevant to hear Colin’s voice on his evolution and motivations.”
Meanwhile, it was announced last week that the athlete and activist had also teamed up with director Ava DuVernay to produce a series about his life for the streaming giant Netflix. The scripted limited series, “Colin in Black & White,” is said to focus on Kaepernick’s “formative high school years, lending meaningful insight into the acts and experiences that led him to become the activist he is today.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.