(NEW YORK) — BY: KATHERINE THORBECKE
The online publishing platform Medium announced Thursday that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick would be joining its board of directors.
Medium also said in a statement they will partner with Kaepernick and his publishing company, Kaepernick Publishing, to add more content focused on race and civil rights issues.
Kaepernick said he is “excited” to “continue to elevate Black voices in the news and publishing industry,” in a statement about the new partnership.
“I also look forward to creating new opportunities and avenues for Black writers and creators with my new role as a Board member,” he added.
Medium said the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback will interview activists, athletes and other leaders.
“We’ve been in talks with Colin for some time, and we are honored to be electing him to join our board,” Medium CEO Ev Williams said in a statement.
“Colin’s voice and actions have led the discussion on racial justice, and the world is finally catching up to him. He’s an incisive, independent thinker, whose integrity as an activist and athlete has inspired so many,” Williams added. “We’ve enjoyed collaborating with Colin so far, and look forward to tapping into his perspective, as a partner and leader.”
Kaepernick ignited a firestorm when he began kneeling before games in 2016 to protest police brutality. The outrage rose all the way to the White House, where he was condemned by the president. The NFL apologized for its handling of the issue last week in the wake of nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.
The announcement comes amid rising calls for the need for diversity in corporate boardrooms, especially in the tech sector.
Earlier this month, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigned from his company’s board and asked to be replaced by a black candidate. Reddit listened, selecting Michael Seibel for the role.
“It is long overdue to do the right thing. I’m doing this for me, for my family, and for my country,” Ohanian wrote on Twitter, announcing his resignation. “I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: ‘What did you do?"”
In the same Twitter post, he announced a $1 million donation to Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp initiative.
Kaepernick, who hasn’t played in the NFL for three seasons, remains unsigned.
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