AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Colin Kaepernick Compares NFL Combine to Slavery in 'Colin in Black and White'

Adam Wells

Colin Kaepernick used part of his new Netflix limited series to criticize the way the NFL evaluates players.

One scene from Colin in Black and White features Kaepernick narrating a segment in which the scouting combine process is compared to slavery.

As Kaepernick narrates, the onscreen action shows athletes in front of scouts, coaches and team owners going through various drills on a football field.

"What they don't want you to understand," Kaepernick says, "is what's being established is a power dynamic. Before they put you on the field, teams poke, prod and examine you. Searching for any defect that might affect your performance. No boundary respected. No dignity left intact."

The scene continues with Black players walking off the football field, but as they cross in front of Kaepernick, the players are seen walking into a cotton field in chains where a slave owner is auctioning off the men to other slave owners.

Over the years, the NFL combine has been compared to slave auctions. Some of the questions asked of players during the event have drawn criticism for being offensive and relying on racial stereotypes.

Kaepernick has been using his platform to raise awareness about racial issues dating back to his final season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, when he protested police brutality and social injustice during the national anthem before games.

The 33-year-old has donated $1 million to various charitable organizations. His own charity organization made a $1.75 million donation last year to help Black and Brown communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Colin in Black and White premiered on Netflix on Friday. The six-episode series is a dramatization of Kaepernick's teenage years growing up biracial in California with his adoptive parents.


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