Colin Rand Kaepernick (/ˈkæpərnɪk/ KAP-ər-nik; born November 3, 1987) is an American football quarterback who is a free agent. He played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League (NFL). He is also a political activist, best known for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of alleged police brutality and racial inequality in the United States.
Kaepernick played college football for the University of Nevada where he was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Offensive Player of the Year twice and became the only player in NCAA Division I FBS history to amass 10,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards in a career. After graduating, he was selected by the 49ers in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Kaepernick began his professional football career as a backup quarterback to Alex Smith, and became the 49ers' starter in the middle of the 2012 season after Smith suffered a concussion. He then remained the team's starting quarterback for the rest of the season, leading the team to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1994. During the 2013 season, his first full season as a starter, Kaepernick helped the 49ers reach the NFC Championship Game. Over the next three seasons, Kaepernick lost and won back his starting job, with the 49ers missing the playoffs for three years consecutively.