Disney, the parent company of ESPN, signed a deal with former NFL quarterback and social justice activist Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick and his supporters claimed that he was blackballed from playing in the NFL after the 2016 season due to his social justice protests during the playing of the national anthem at NFL games.
But ESPN was far from impartial when it came to Kaepernick in the weeks before its parent company’s announcement. For several weeks, multiple ESPN talking heads openly clamored for Kaepernick’s signing by an NFL team because they believed it was an injustice that Kaepernick lost several years of his prime athletic career due to his protests.
The deal involved the production and airing of a documentary series between Kaepernick’s production arm, Ra Vision Media, and Disney. An ESPN article said that the “partnership will focus on telling scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity. It also will provide a platform to showcase the work of minority directors and producers.”
Kaepernick’s statement on the deal called it a “historic partnership” to “elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers and producers.” He added that he will be “sharing the docuseries on my life story.”
He will also work with ESPN’s The Undefeated platform, which focuses on black culture in sports. The deal will also cover all of Disney’s platforms, such as Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, and Pixar.
There was no announcement regarding how much money Kaepernick will make from the deal.
Neither Disney nor ESPN acknowledged Kaepernick’s offensive behavior, such as wearing a t-shirt depicting communist radical Che Guevara or socks that portrayed police officers as pigs.