In a new cover story with Paper Magazine, Colin Kaepernick opened up about the incident that triggered his civil rights activism, and that being the 2015 shooting death of Mario Woods. Colin says he was deeply disturbed by Woods’ death, a black man who was shot 21 times by five San Francisco cops on Dec. 2, 2015. As a result of the shooting, Kaep began to launch his traveling youth empowerment initiative Know Your Rights Camp and later began kneeling during the national anthem in August 2016, eight months after Woods was killed.
The story is that Woods was holding a knife after receiving reports of a nearby stabbing. Officers initially used non-lethal bean bag rounds on Woods while ordering him to drop the knife but then opened fire with live ammo when they claimed he became aggressive and was a threat. However, cellphone footage posted after the incident appeared to contradict the police description, showing Woods up against a wall while holding the knife at his side in a non-threatening manner. It was this incident that turned Colin.
According to Kaep’s girlfriend, Nessa, the former NFL player became a student after that. “If Colin wasn’t reviewing a playbook, he was reading a history book,” she told Paper.
Check out the cover of Paper Mag (below) and read Colin’s full cover story right here.