Controversial 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who made headlines for refusing to stand during the national anthem at a recent game, was reportedly raised by a white cheese-making couple from Wisconsin.
In a new interview, Kaepernick -- the biological child of a white woman and a black man -- detailed the experience of being adopted and raised from birth by white parents.
“I knew I was different to my parents and my older brother and sister,” the quarterback said, Us Magazine reported. “I never felt that I was supposed to be white. Or black, either. My parents just wanted to let me be who I needed to be."
Kaepernick said he was often treated differently by people because of the color of his skin.
“We used to go on these summer driving vacations and stay at motels,” he said. “And every year, in the lobby of every motel, the same thing always happened, and it only got worse as I got older and taller. It didn’t matter how close I stood to my family, somebody would walk up to me, [usually] a real nervous manager, and say: ‘Excuse me. Is there something I can help you with?'"
Despite the bias he experienced, the NFL star said his father was a big part of instilling the values in him that he holds dear today.
“My dad, being a businessman, constantly talked to me about carrying myself in a certain way and treating people with respect,” he said. “And I think that’s something that’s carried over throughout my life. It’s how I deal with certain situations."
Kaepernick defended his decision not to stand for the national anthem at a recent game -- a decision that sparked national outrage among those who disagreed with his choice.
“This is because I'm seeing things happen to people that don't have a voice, people that don't have a platform to talk and have their voices heard and effect change,” he told NBC News of the reason for his protest.
“So I'm in a position where I can do that, and I'm going to do that for people that can't."