The Kaepernick Effect

Taking a Knee, Changing the World

Riveting and inspiring first-person stories of how “taking a knee” triggered an awakening in sports, from the celebrated sportswriter

“Dave Zirin hits the bullseye with this textured examination of the man behind the movement and the movement inspired by the man. The Kaepernick Effect answers all of our questions, and more, while simultaneously connecting the dots to a moment in contemporary times that will be remembered for the global awakening it inspired.”
—Sekou Smith; NBA TV/NBA.com senior analyst

In 2016, amid an epidemic of police shootings of African Americans, the celebrated NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began a series of quiet protests on the field, refusing to stand during the U.S. national anthem. By “taking a knee,” Kaepernick bravely joined a long tradition of American athletes making powerful political statements. This time, however, Kaepernick’s simple act spread like wildfire throughout American society, becoming the preeminent symbol of resistance to America’s persistent racial inequality.

Critically acclaimed sports journalist and author of A People’s History of Sports in the United States, Dave Zirin chronicles “the Kaepernick effect” for the first time, through interviews with a broad cross-section of professional athletes across many different sports, college stars and high-powered athletic directors, and high school athletes and coaches. In each case, he uncovers the fascinating explanations and motivations behind a mass political movement in sports, through deeply personal and inspiring accounts of risk-taking, activism, and courage both on and off the field.

A book about the politics of sport, and the impact of sports on politics, The Kaepernick Effect is for anyone seeking to understand an essential dimension of the new movement for racial justice in America.

Books by Dave Zirin

A People’s History of Sports in the United States
250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play

Dave Zirin

Bad Sports
How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love

Dave Zirin

Game Over
How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down

Dave Zirin

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