While promoting his new book, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick suggested that his upbringing with his white adoptive parents was "problematic" at times as he was learning to embrace his Blackness.
Kaepernick, author of graphic novel memoir “Change the Game,” told CBS News that he's aware his parents love him.
“But there were still very problematic things that I went through,” the former QB said during an interview with the outlet. “I think it was important to show that ... this can happen in your own home and how we move forward collectively while addressing the racism that is being perpetuated."
In the interview, CBS News journalist Adriana Diaz pointed to a part of the book where Kaepernick's mother questions the young activist's desire to wear cornrows like his childhood hero, Allen Iverson.
“He’s getting what rolls?” his mother says in one panel of the graphic novel.
Kaepernick confirmed that his mother would make remarks like “Oh, your hair’s not professional" and "You look like a little thug.” The author said the comments are part of the reason why he has continued to keep his hair long.
With the book, Kaepernick said he hopes to encourage young readers to “embrace their Blackness” and “seize their power.”
Despite his sometimes "problematic" childhood, Kaepernick's parents were supportive of him kneeling for the national anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality at NFL games in 2016.
“We want people to know that we are very proud of our son and admire his strength and courage in kneeling for the rights of others,” Rick and Teresa Kaepernick said in a statement at the time.