Athlete-turned-civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick has been added to the board of directors at blogging platform Medium, CEO Ev Williams announced on Thursday.
“In addition to the board seat, Medium will partner with Colin and Kaepernick Publishing to create and feature stories focused on race and civil rights in America, and to elevate emerging voices from communities of color,” Williams wrote in the announcement.
“I met Colin a couple years ago and have been wanting to work with him ever since. When he launched Kaepernick Publishing in February, we started a conversation and quickly realized how closely our ideals and sensibilities align,” Williams added. “I know he will bring valuable insights and leadership to Medium, especially in this moment when the world is finally catching up to his vision on racial justice.”
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback famously sparked a national debate in 2016 when he protested police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016 and many feel that the league essentially blackballed him. However, calls for his playing career to resume have picked up since the death of George Floyd in police custody has revived a national conversation about race.
The Medium CEO feels that Kaepernick Publishing’s “mission is to uplift and elevate voices for Black and Brown communities,” which he wrote is “desperately needed in the publishing space.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently said that he'd "encourage" teams to sign Kaepernick ahead of the upcoming season, and President Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he deserves a second chance to play in the league – but only if his talent warrants it.
"If he deserves it, he should. If he has the playing ability," Trump said. "He started off great and then he didn't end up very great in terms of as a player. He was terrific in his rookie year, I think he was very good in his second year, and then something happened. So his playing wasn't up to snuff."
Trump had previously criticized Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem.
In his time away from the NFL, Kaepernick has been involved in a number of social activism organizations and founded the “Know Your Rights Camp,” which teaches young children about self-empowerment, American history and legal rights. He also picked up a multimillion-dollar deal with Nike.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.