Colin Kaepernick’s fight for racial justice in the US has brought him to Africa

Heading home.
Heading home.
Image: Reuters/Orlando Ramirez
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American football player Colin Kaepernick spent his Fourth of July holiday celebrating finding his “personal independence” in Ghana

The NFL quarterback has been in the news for much of the past year since protesting police killings of unarmed black people in the US by kneeling while the American national anthem was played at NFL games.

To celebrate July 4th this year, the US Independence Day, Kaepernick, now a free-agent, posted a video of a recent trip to Ghana on his social media accounts. “In a quest to find my personal independence, I had to find out where my ancestors came from,” Kaepernick wrote in an Instagram post. While in Ghana, Kaepernick visited prominent slave monuments including the Cape Coast castle, a major part of trans-Atlantic slave trade initially built in the 1600s and was seen clad in Kente, a popular local fabric.

While Kaepernick’s increasingly vocal protests about racial inequalities in the US have won him some plaudits, his public stance on social causes are believed to have damaged his NFL career. After playing for six years with the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick opted out of the final year of his contract in March.

But without a club since, Kaepernick is believed to have been “blackballed” by NFL bosses mainly for his personal views despite his ranking as the 17th best quarterback in the 32-team league.