The clip was released as part of the Netflix Tudum fan event. Kaepernick explained during his introduction of the clip that the six-part narrative drama produced with Ava DuVernay focuses on his high school years growing up in Turlock, Calif., a mid-sized city 60 miles east of San Jose, as the Black adopted son of white parents in a largely white community. As depicted in the clip, in high school Kaepernick set his sights set on becoming a professional baseball player.
The half-hour series is set to debut on Netflix on Oct. 29. Jaden Michael will star as a young Kaepernick, with the real Kaepernick appearing throughout as the narrator.
“The series explores the racism I faced from the people closest to me and systematically through institutions that have been in place for centuries,” Kaepernick said. He described himself in that era as “just a kid from Turlock who loved playing ball.”
Along with Michael the series also stars Mary-Louise Parker, Nick Offerman, Amarr M. Wooten, Mace Coronel, and Klarke Pipkin.
DuVernay co-created the series with Kaepernick. Both DuVernay and Kaepernick serve as executive producers, with DuVernay also having directed the first episode and all of the Kaepernick present day scenes. Michael Starrbury served as writer and executive producer. Sheldon Candis, Robert Townsend, Angel Kristi Williams, and Kenny Leon all served as directors.
The series reunited DuVernay and Starrbury, who previously collaborated on the critically-acclaimed Netflix limited series “When They See Us.” DuVernay created that series and served as director and executive producer, with Starrbury writing. The show went on to receive 16 Emmy nominations, including one for best writing for a limited series.
Kaepernick played six seasons for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, setting multiple records and receiving numerous accolades. In 2016, he received worldwide attention when he began kneeling during the national anthem before games in protest of police brutality and systemic racism in America. After that season ended, Kaepernick became a free agent and went unsigned by any other NFL team. He filed a lawsuit against the league, claiming they were working against him to keep him from playing. Kaepernick and the league reached a settlement in 2019, the terms of which were not disclosed. He remains a free agent to this day.