Colin Kaepernick is an outstanding athlete. When he attended high school he excelled on the basketball court, playing baseball and of course, playing football. All while also managing to keep a 4.0 GPA. He was talented enough to make the idea of playing in the MLB a very real possibility. But it was his ability while playing basketball that intrigued the University of Nevada to also give him a shot playing football.
There Colin Kaepernick continued to excel enough to get drafted in the 2nd round of the NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. And while Colin Kaepernick didn't manage to win the Super Bowl, he still managed to get there during the 2012 season. While Colin Kaepernick has faced adversity in his life, he credits a lot of his success to his faith and the role of his adoptive parents.
Colin Kaepernick also has the support of his partner, Nessa Diab, who he has been with since 2015. And as you may find yourself not being able to stop talking about his recent ad with Nike, ESPN writer Darren Rovell will also give you the insight on if you can expect a Kaepernick shoe to be coming your way in the near future.
Regardless if you are interested in how his life looks away from the game of football or want an in-depth look at the highs and lows of his career, you've come to the right place. This is 20 Things People Should Know About Colin Kaepernick Now That He's Partnered Up With Nike.
21 He Was Adopted
Colin Kaepernick was adopted by Teresa and Rick Kaepernick. Colin's biological father was not in the picture. Kaepernick's adopted family had previously suffered tragedy in a major way when two of their sons had passed away as a result of a heart defect.
"I'll never forget that day. They brought him in an infant carrier and set him down. The birth mother [Russo] was there. I looked at her and she nodded and I just picked him up out of the carrier. The minute I picked him up, I just cried. We gave her a big hug. And she needed a couple more minutes. And then we left," said Colin's mother Teresa.
20 He Got The Opportunity To Meet His Birth Mom At 18 (But Said No)
It has been reported that for the first little while Teresa would keep in contact with Russo, Kaepernick's birth mother, with things such as photos and letters. While it's not clear what age she stopped, it was at Russo's request. Russo sent Colin a letter that was to be opened on his 18th birthday, but Colin did not want to meet with her after reading the letter, saying at the time that his adoptive family is his family.
It was stated that Colin's adopted parents did meet with Russo, but the last time Colin talked about Russo was while he was in University where he mentioned to ESPN that they had been in contact, but not met in person.
19 He Has Received Criticism For His Tattoos
Colin Kaepernick has put a lot of thought and care into the tattoos that he has that cover most of his upper body. But that means he may have also known that with those tattoos is going to come with some people who hate on him for having them. Such as sports writer David Whitley who wrote,
"NFL quarterback is the ultimate position of influence and responsibility. He is the CEO of a high-profile organization, and you don't want your CEO to look like he just got paroled."
His mother Teresa later came to his defense,
"That's how you're going to define this kid? It's pretty irritating, but it is what it is."
18 He Takes Very Good Care Of His Body
Colin Kaepernick may not be suiting up in the NFL this season but I would be shocked if it meant he stopped taking care of his tremendous physique. This includes being careful with what he puts in his body, as his mother Teresa once pointed out,
"In high school he did a big paper on substances. He's truly disgusted by it. He just has issues with it. He's so careful about what he puts in his body. He feels that it's his temple."
Which means that you also probably aren't going to come across too many videos where Colin Kaepernick is acting in a manner that would be able to be deemed irresponsible.
17 His Faith Is Important To Him
There are some NFL players like Tim Tebow who made their faith a prominent part of their image. Colin Kaepernick does make reference to his faith with several of his tattoos. His father Rick described his son's relationship with religion in an interview with USA Today,
"Colin's a fairly religious kid, but he's not in your face about it," Rick said by phone. "It's more about him and what he believes."
Colin has also stated in the past, "My faith is the basis from where my game comes from." Colin was baptized as a Methodist and is confirmed to be a Lutheran.
16 He Was Also Great At Baseball
Anyone who saw Colin Kaepernick on the football field knew that he had the ability to throw the football incredibly fast. This included having the record at the NFL combine for the fastest throw at 59 mph from 2011 until it was broken in 2014. But that should not have come as a surprise to people if they knew how successful Kaepernick was playing baseball as a pitcher. Who among other skills had a fastball that reached upwards of 92 mph. Colin's record of 11-2 with 97 strikeouts, 39 walks and an ERA of 1.265 later got him some attention from the MLB.
15 He Went To University At Nevada
Colin Kaepernick wanted to play football more than any other sport and if it meant going to the University of Nevada to do it, then he was on board. After redshirting his first year, Kaepernick got the start and as you'll read below, made a major impact. Kaepernick's impact was due in part to his play on the basketball court which impressed Barry Sacks who was an assistant at Nevada,
"We're not recruiting basketball players, but it's one of the tools you can use to evaluate an athlete. You can see not only his athleticism but his competitiveness and his toughness," said Sacks to ESPN.
14 He Was Drafted By The Chicago Cubs (But Turned Them Down)
The Chicago Cubs had hopes that Colin Kaepernick was going to be one of the potential stars of the franchise when they drafted him in 2009. Granted, it was in the 43rd round that he was selected in, but it was still an opportunity for Kaepernick to go and make between $30,000-$50,000 and see if he had what it took. He did turn down the offer though, a decision I'm sure he didn't regret when he was later drafted in the NFL as that surely would have had an influence on how much of a focus he would be able to put into his dream of playing in the NFL.
13 He Dominated While Playing At Nevada
Colin Kaepernick may not have been a 1st round pick in the NFL, but getting selected in the 2nd round is definitely nothing to sneeze at. Kaepernick's appeal was the fact that he was able to find success both running and throwing the ball. Kaepernick became the first NCAA QB to rush for over 1,000 yards and throw for more than 2,000 yards in back to back seasons, a feat he then improved upon again doing it for the 3rd time. He ended his career at Nevada with a total of 10,098 yards passing, as well as putting together 4,112 yards rushing.
12 He Was Drafted In 2011, In The 2nd Round With The 36th Pick By The 49ers
As you have read with the entry above, Colin Kaepernick did many impressive things when he was playing football at the University of Nevada. In 2011 when he was being drafted San Francisco was going with Alex Smith as their quarterback. Smith had previously been drafted 1st overall in the 2005 NFL Draft. Earlier in the 2011 draft, the 49ers had previously selected Aldon Smith with the 7th overall pick in the draft. And while Smith had off the field issues that derailed his career, but both of these players ended up making a major positive impact for the 49ers. 5 other quarterbacks were selected before Colin Kaepernick.
11 He Got His Start In 2012 Due To An Injury
Alex Smith definitely had some moments in his NFL career where people thought he was going to be a bust. But he had improved with Jim Harbaugh as the coach with an overall record of 19-5-1. He was definitely doing a solid job in 2012 including a 6-2 record on the year. This also included being recognized as the 3rd best quarterback in the league according to passer rating and had the highest completion rating. Sadly, Smith suffered a concussion in week 10. Kaepernick ended up playing the 2nd half and while the game ended in a tie, Kaepernick played well enough to keep the starting job.
10 He Almost Won a Super Bowl
Colin Kaepernick did all he could to quell the controversy around who should be the quarterback with his performance in the 2012 playoffs. In the divisional round, he shredded the Packers for 181 yards on the ground and 263 yards through the air. The 49ers won 45-31.
It was a stressful game against the Falcons, but the 49ers came back from down 17 to win 28-24. Kaepernick was largely contained though, rushing for only 21 yards and 233 yards. The 49ers also came close to winning the Super Bowl but were beaten by the Baltimore Ravens with Kaepernick rushing for 62 yards and throwing for 302.
9 He Played Well In 2013 and 2014
Colin Kaepernick may not have won the Super Bowl in 2012, but he did still bounce back with two strong seasons. His shot at another Super Bowl was thwarted in 2013 by the Seattle Seahawks, though to be fair, the Seahawks did then dominate in the Super Bowl. His performance saw him be rewarded with a 6-year contract that could have been worth upwards of $126 million. The next year was his last year of glory, putting up a career-best 3,369 yards and 639 on the ground. It was reported back in 2017 that Kaepernick ended up receiving roughly $39 million from the deal by the time it was over.
8 He Struggled In 2015
Sadly for 49er fans, confidence in Colin Kaepernick was quickly evaporating during the 2015 season and it wasn't something that would be returning anytime soon. This included a bad 4 interception day against the 49ers in week 3, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns which just added insult to injury. The 49ers were going with Blaine Gabbert as their starter by week 9. Colin Kaepernick had thrown for 1,615 yards, 6 TDs, and 5 interceptions by the time his year was done. It was also announced in week 11 that Colin would be receiving surgery on his left non-throwing shoulder.
7 He Changed His Contract During The 2016 Season That Allowed Him To Become a Free Agent
While Colin Kaepernick had signed a 6-year contract after the 2013 season, contracts in the NFL are often switched up. As was the case with Colin Kaepernick who in 2016 announced that a new deal had been struck that would let him be a free agent after the season. His 2016 season saw him wait until week 6 to get the start but the team ended the season with a 2-14 record. This ended up being the last time Colin Kaepernick played for an NFL team. Though him playing in a Super Bowl is still more than most players can ever get to say they have the luxury of being able to do, even if it was in a losing effort.
6 He Filed a Trademark For His Celebration
There have been many iconic celebrations in the history of the NFL. Such as Tim Tebow whose habit of going down on one knee ended up becoming a huge phenomenon known as "Tebowing". And while I don't know if this ever ended up being quite as popular as the fad inadvertently created by Tebow, Kaepernick had his own little wave of momentum with his own celebration of kissing his bicep whenever he felt pumped up enough about a play he made on the field. The trend ended up being known as "Kaepernicking". The phrase became popular enough that back in 2013 Kaepernick ended up filing a trademark on the phrase.
5 He Has Been Dating Nessa Diab Since 2015
The most important decision you might ever make with your life is the person that you choose to date. This is a decision that someone who is famous should take perhaps even more seriously as they have to know the tabloid media is always going to be inputting their thoughts - whether it is wanted or not. For Colin Kaepernick, he has had a steady woman by his side since 2015 which is when he started a relationship with Nessa Diab. Who is successful in her own right, having hosted a variety of shows in the past both on television and on the radio.
4 He Wishes People Had Given Him More Credit For His Intelligence
When you look at the statistics that Colin Kaepernick put up in the NFL that often included him impressing people on the field with his running and passing, you may understand why people would always be talking about his athleticism. Though Colin Kaepernick did admit in a past interview that he wishes he received more credit for how intelligent he is,
“To me, when people say, 'Oh, you're a freak athlete,' it's bittersweet. It's a huge compliment to say, 'O.K., you have physical abilities that are kind of above and beyond.' But at the same time, I feel like it diminishes the mental side of the game.”
3 He Learned About Respect From his Father
Colin Kaepernick will always do his best to try and handle any situation that comes his way in a respectful manner. Which is a characteristic that Colin has said in a past interview comes from the incredible person that his father, Rick, is,
“My dad, being a businessman, constantly talked to me about carrying myself in a certain way and treating people with respect. And I think that's something that's carried over throughout my life. It's how I deal with certain situations.”
I am sure there are moments in everyone's life where they find it very hard to remember this life lesson, but it is definitely one that if followed will make you a better person.
2 He Is a Vegan
Colin Kaepernick knows that one of the most important things you can do for your health is to be conscious as to what it is you are putting into your body. His decision to adopt a vegan diet was one that was also supported by his girlfriend Nessa Diab,
"We did it together. Because we feel like, it's true that, I guess, the more animal products you eat and stuff like that, your body becomes more acidic, which allows more diseases to basically breed within you. So the more alkaline state that your body is in, the less likely you are to get some type of diseases. The more alkaline, the better you are health-wise, supposedly.”
1 He Won’t Be Getting a Shoe or Clothing From Nike
There are many athletes out there whose endorsement deal with Nike also means you are going to be a lot of other merchandise from them. Such as LeBron James who has his own shoe and other apparel. But while Colin Kaepernick has made his affiliation with the brand well known, the recent advertisement is probably the only thing that you can expect to see out of the Nike camp. ESPN reporter Darren Rovell took to Twitter back on September 4th to announce that,
"Nike sources say the company has no plans to give Colin Kaepernick a signature shoe, nor an extensive clothing line, as had been speculated."