The filming location for the Netflix miniseries about Colin Kaepernick is on high security alert after a reported threat from the right-wing Proud Boys organization. On Friday, as TMZ reports, the anti-Black Lives Matter group was allegedly planning to protest the production about the former NFL quarterback-turned-civil rights icon.
Producers were told in a memo last week that, “anti-BLM sentiments may protest against the production.” Additionally, two anonymous production members told TMZ that the office received an ominous phone call last week, believed to be from the militant far-right Proud Boys.
Fortunately, the threat never materialized into anything physical. But TMZ reports that there were internal emails between executives and staff that added additional security measures in order to protect cast and crew members. The white nationalist, male-chauvinist organization, whose members were involved in last month’s Capitol insurrection, are notorious for instigating violent confrontations with Black Lives Matter demonstrators, so it’s unsurprising that the miniseries would take this threat seriously.
It’s unclear whether the Proud Boys were planning to confront Kaepernick directly, but the production confirmed that the former football star wasn’t on set last week. Although this incident didn’t come to fruition, TMZ’s reporting suggests that the production is taking precautions going forward.
The show, which stars Jaden Michael as Kaepernick, is called Colin in Black and White. It examines the athlete’s experiences with racism during high-school which ended up inspiring his historic social activism as an adult. The project is directed by Ava DuVernay (13th, When They See Us) and will be presented as a six-part series that Kaepernick will narrate.
The now-33-year-old made history back in 2016 when he refused to honor the custom of standing during the National Anthem at the beginning of NFL games.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said at the time. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Following his release from the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, he became a free agent who was never picked up by another team due to the controversy surrounding his activism.
In an interview last June, DuVernay expressed how happy she was to tell his important story and the effect it had on American culture. “With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture and for him, personally,” DuVernay said (via The Independent). “Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports, and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience.”