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Colin Kaepernick: Ethnicity, Tattoos, Stats and Other Facts


Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick Football Superstar!

Colin Kaepernick is one of the most fascinating NFL players to come along in recent memory. This young, talented and forward thinking athlete skyrocketed to celebrity status after his famous GQ photo shoot in September of 2013.

As some may recall, this was the edition featuring Kaepernick mostly shirtless, parading around a football field, “inked up” with pigskin in hand.

After the magazine hit newsstands, the newly minted San Francisco 49ers Quarterback suddenly became one of the most instantly recognizable sports players in the world. Even folks who were not fans of the American football knew who Colin Kaepernick was.

And let’s be real – the guy is kind of hard to forget with that ridiculously chiseled physique and charming smile, warm smile.

But is there something more to Colin Kaepernick than good looks, muscles and tattoos? Does he have a story to tell with lessons that we can learn from? Is he more than some Scorpio male celebrity blessed with good looks?

The answer is surprisingly yes.

Five Things About Colin Kaepernick

What follows are five things about Colin Kaepernick that you may not know and perhaps should as you follow him during this NFL season. Let’s peer behind the glare of the stadium lights and move about the business of finding out about the metal of the man.

Are you ready?

Let’s jump right in!

Colin Kaepernick: Stats


November 3, 1987

White/African American


Place of Birth: Milwaukee, WI

Bachelors: University of Nevada

230 lbs


Business Major

Shoe Size: 13-14

Colin Kaepernick Smiling

Colin Kaepernick Smiling

1. He was adopted

Many are not aware that Colin Kaepernick was an adopted child. The pro-athlete was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin back in 1987. His mom was just 19-years old when she gave birth to the future football star and was reportedly broke and single at the time.

His father was apparently out of the picture when he came into this world. Hoping to find her son a good home and a brighter future, she placed Colin up for adoption. Colin Kaepernick’s mother is white and his father is African American.

I can speak about the topic of adoption with some insight. You see, I was adopted. What you may not know is that adopted children are often driven by a force to reach success that is not easy to describe.

Much of this drive can be attributed to a strong desire to “fit in” while also wanting to increase value to the self. Sadly, some have ignorantly accused adopted children of being born “overachievers” because they “have something to prove”.

In truth, adopted kids are working through a kind of primal wound, which is often sublimated through hard work, extreme focus and an effort to be the absolute best at whatever they are engaged in. This is a lifelong endeavor, meaning cradle to grave.

Examples of highly successful adopted children include Steve Jobs, Marilyn Monroe and Dave Thomas.

The life lesson here is fairly simple. None of us have to be victims of our pasts. While Kaepernick certainly benefitted from being adopted into a loving, nurturing and caring family, he also listened to his inner voice and leaned into the natural gifts bestowed upon him. He didn’t engage in the game of learned helplessness. Instead, he simply accepted his circumstances and moved forward.

Life Lesson: Don’t be a victim of your past

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Kaepernick Baseball


2. He was drafted by Cubs

What if I told you that Colin Kaepernick almost became a Major League baseball player for the Chicago Cubs? Guess what – it almost happened! Many people do not know this but Kaepernick is also a big time talented baseball player.

Check it out - he was a two-time California All State baseball player with an impressive stats card. He was reported to throw a 92 mph fastball as a senior in high school. His pitching abilities certainly got noticed. According to news reports, he turned down numerous baseball scholarships at many NCAA programs.

In 2009, he was drafted in the 43rd round by the Chicago Cubs. He turned down the draft because he wanted to continue playing football at the University of Nevada. He graduated in 2010 with a degree in business management. I must say that as a person born and raised in Chicago, I must say I half wish he would have joined the team!

The life lesson here is that Kaepernick never put all of his sports playing eggs into one basket. He appears to have involved himself with a number of sports growing up and then focused like a laser beam on the sport he loved most – football. And while I have no doubt Kaepernick would have made an excellent professional baseball player, it seems right in the universe somehow that he is exactly where he is supposed to be at in this moment in time in the NFL.

Life Lesson: Be empathic and know where you are going.

Kaepernick Shoes

3. He's progressive

According to interviews he has given, Kaepernick believes in a God. While several of his tattoos contain various biblical scriptures, these inked markings do not push the sports-celeb into some kind of religious corner. In fact, going by the public record, Kaepernick appears to be a pretty progressive guy.

Example: He was one of the first to publicly support gay people playing in the NFL. Kaepernick, along with Cam Newton gave an on-camera interview in February of 2014 to voice support of gay players after the draft of Michael Sam. As you may recall, Sam was the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL.

This is something to take notice of because stepping forward with this kind of support was fairly unheard of (believe it or not) and certainly carried risks. Kaepernick, however, did not seem to care. It was more important for him to be supportive of others and promote diversity.

His public support of GLBT persons says a lot about his character, values and worldview. Oh, one more fun fact. This dude has a MAJOR shoe fetish. See video!

Life Lesson: In the words of Gandhi, Be the change we seek in the world.

Kaepernick's Turtle!

Colin Kaepernick and Sammy

Colin Kaepernick and Sammy

4. He has a turtle

Some folks know this and many others do not. Kaepernick has a pet turtle. That may seem kind of like a silly point until you discover that he has had this tortoise since he was 10-years old! Sammy weighs an astonishing 115lbs according to some news reports and even has his own Twitter account.

To me, the important thing about Sammy the turtle is that Kaepernick has nurtured this animal for so many years. What’s more, the turtle represents something about the Quarterback that contextualizes the man beyond professional sports. That turtle speaks to his sense of loyalty, commitment and care for other living things.

By the way - did you know that he is very active children’s charity work? He is, giving money and time to causes like Camp Taylor, an organization that helps children suffering from heart disease.

Life lesson: Be more than your public identity.



5. He knows who he is

Anytime Kaepernick scores a touchdown, he does something called Kaepernicking. You may be wondering what on this means.

Long story short, he does a little pose where he flexes his bicep and kisses his "Faith", "To God The Glory", and Psalm 18:39 tattoos.

According to interviews he has given to the press, he does this as a way of sending a dual message. 1. He doesn’t care what people think of his tattoos (he has been criticized for them) and; 2. To give thanks to his higher power, which he identifies as God.

That he kisses his tattoos, despite being criticized for them, while also showing reference for his higher power suggests a person who is very comfortable with who he is and where he is going in life.

Life Lesson: Embrace who you are.

Final Thoughts

Colin Kaepernick birthday is November 3rd (let’s hear it for Scorpios!). Already, this young man has created a name for himself that is pretty much known worldwide. It really isn’t a stretch to say he is a celebrity.

In 2013, he helped to lead the San Francisco 49ers to their first Super Bowl since 1994. True, they didn’t win against the Ravens but you have to give him and the entire team credit for making it as far as they did. While I have no idea how San Francisco will fair this year, I suspect they are going to do very well.

And so when you see Kaepernick on the field this new NFL season, keep in mind some of the life lessons that were shared here and look beyond his talent, tats and muscle. This is a remarkable person who is so much more than his physical appearance.

I hope you see sides you might have been missing. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to share with others!


fpherj48 on October 24, 2016:

He is an awful person and is showing disrespect for the country that gave him his opportunities. He is even wearing a Black Panther t-shirt. What a wanna be. That boy needs to know his place and step back in line!

John Hollywood from Hollywood, CA on September 15, 2014:

One of my favorite players. He is a Scorpio for sure - his personality fits him to a tee!

John Lannoye (author) from Chicago on September 13, 2014:

Thanks B the Great for your visit and comments!!

John Lannoye (author) from Chicago on September 13, 2014:

I'll be sure to revise and include this Chateudumer - I'm glad you liked. Thanks for the visit!

B The Great on September 13, 2014:

There is no such thing as white/african american or mixed race people no matter the skin tone!?!?!? You are what your father is. Nice post though!

John Lannoye (author) from Chicago on September 13, 2014:

I do wonder why he chose the tortoise. Some people say because he is a "fixed" zodiac sign (Scorpio) and because they like things to remain the same. lol. I can kind of relate since I am that sign myself.

I do like this football player a great deal. He knows how to throw a ball and seems to have a very laid back personality. Thanks for popping by!

James E Cressler from Orlando, Florida on September 13, 2014:

Great little piece. I know more about Kaepernick now than I did before. Do you suppose he chose his pet tortoise because it is so permanent. A tortoise can easily live one to two hundred years.

David B Katague from Northern California and the Philippines on September 13, 2014:

I enjoyed reading this hub. There is no mentioned about him growing up in Turlock, California. I watched the SF 49'rs primarily because of CK.

John Lannoye (author) from Chicago on September 07, 2014:

I think so Midget38 - he should do well this season!

Michelle Liew from Singapore on September 07, 2014:

He is quite a guy. Will stir up the NFL!

John Lannoye (author) from Chicago on September 06, 2014:

Thanks, Mister Hollywood!

John Hollywood from Hollywood, CA on September 06, 2014:

Super interesting hub. Just shared on social media. Love this dude and his story!

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