Colin Kaepernick’s teen years will be the focus of Ava DuVernay’s new Netflix series

Ava DuVernay, director of the acclaimed Netflix documentary 13th and series When They See Us, is returning to the streaming service with a new project: a scripted drama about the teenage years of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The project, titled Colin in Black & White, is being developed in collaboration with Kaepernick, who will narrate the six-part limited series, Netflix announced Monday. The series will center on Kaepernick’s high school years in Turlock, Calif., his early promise as an athlete, and “the acts and experiences that led him to become the activist he is today,” Netflix said.

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016, when he began kneeling during the pregame rendition of the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the U.S. This month, as worldwide protests erupted after the death of George Floyd in police custody, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted the league was wrong “for not listening to NFL players earlier” when protesting.

“With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture, and for him, personally,” DuVernay said in a Netflix statement. “Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports, and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn’t be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix.”

Kaepernick added: “Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens. We seek to give new perspective to the differing realities that Black people face. We explore the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years. It’s an honor to bring these stories to life in collaboration with Ava for the world to see.”

Netflix says writing for the series was recently completed in May. According to Deadline, the series is aiming to begin production in the fall, if possible, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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