Civil rights activist and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has teamed up with The Walt Disney Company.
Kaepernick’s production firm Ra Vision Media and Disney have struck a first-look deal to develop programming centered on race, social injustice and the quest for equity, the companies announced today. The deal will extend across all of Disney’s properties, including its TV arm Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar and The Undefeated, which will also expand its footprint across the Disney portfolio.
The first-look deal will cover both scripted and unscripted stories, and the projects will aim to showcase the work of Black and brown directors and producers, the companies said.
“During this unprecedented time, The Walt Disney Company remains committed to creating diverse and inclusive content that resonates and matters,” Disney executive chairman and former CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “Colin’s experience gives him a unique perspective on the intersection of sports, culture and race, which will undoubtedly create compelling stories that will educate, enlighten and entertain, and we look forward to working with him on this important collaboration.”
The deal’s first project—a documentary series chronicling Kaepernick’s story, including his time in the NFL and his protests against racial injustice and police brutality during the national anthem—is already in the works. Libby Geist, Kevin Merida and Connor Schell will executive produce the series for ESPN, and former ESPN commentator and The Undefeated columnist Jemele Hill will also produce.
“I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives,” Kaepernick said in a statement. “I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing.”
The first-look deal comes as Kaepernick’s controversial protests have returned to the spotlight amid ongoing nationwide protests against police brutality and a larger reckoning about racial injustice in the United States.
This is the second TV-related deal that Kaepernick has stuck in the past week. Last week, Kaepernick teamed up with director and producer Ava DuVernay to collaborate on a limited six-part series focused on Kaepernick’s early athletic career through his teenage years. That project, Colin in Black & White, is set to begin filming later this year.