ESPN is planning a new documentary focused on former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who gained attention a few years ago when he began kneeling during the national anthem before games.
And, adding a cherry on top, Jemele Hill will play a role in helping produce the series.
Hill left ESPN roughly two years ago after she made a slew of racial comments. As one example, she called President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter.
ESPN announces documentary with Colin Kapernick that will have Jemele Hill as a producer.
Hill used to work at ESPN, but was bought out of her four-year, $10M deal early in part because she and ESPN agreed that it would be better to talk about issues outside of sports elsewhere.
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) July 6, 2020
ESPN’s deal with Kaepernick will not be exclusive to the planned documentary about the former quarterback’s anthem protests.
Disney owns ESPN, so now there are a few “projects” and deals involving Kaepernick.
According to a statement:
The Walt Disney Company today announced an overall first-look deal with Colin Kaepernick’s production arm Ra Vision Media. The partnership will focus on telling scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity, and will provide a new platform to showcase the work of Black and Brown directors and producers. The first-look deal will extend across all Walt Disney Platforms including Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar, and The Undefeated. Kaepernick will work closely with The Undefeated, which is expanding its portfolio across Disney, to develop stories from the perspective of Black and Brown communities.
The documentary on Kaepernick will largely focus on the last few years, beginning with his anthem protests and detailing his activism since being absent from the NFL.
“I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives,” Kaepernick said. “I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing.”
Just days before the announcement, Kaepernick caused a stir on social media when he took to Twitter on the Fourth of July to accuse of having “dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized” black people for centuries.
Black ppl have been dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized by America for centuries, & are expected to join your commemoration of “independence”, while you enslaved our ancestors. We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all. ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/YCD2SYlgv4
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) July 4, 2020
National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that he would welcome a team signing Kaepernick.
During an interview with ESPN, Goodell was asked about the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody, and whether the league would allow players to protest “police brutality.”
The conversation then led to Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who started kneeling during the national anthem.
Goodell said he would welcome and encourage teams to sign Kaepernick, who has been out of the league since 2017.
Although frequently condemned by President Trump and others, the practice of kneeling during the anthem has gained some support given the current social movement.
Goodell apologized for the league’s opposition to the demonstrations earlier this month.
Last month, the United States Soccer Federation announced it would no longer require players to stand for the National Anthem.
And with the NFL seemingly headed for teams and players to kneel during the national anthem next season, President Trump says he is done watching.
Trump was also ticked off by the NFL’s new stance on the National Anthem.