Colin Kaepernick – Race, Ethnicity, Parents, Stats, Tattoos; Learn All About San Francisco 49ers Quarterback [Video]
Colin Kaepernick is expected to have a fair share of the spotlight on him when the San Francisco 49ers collide with Carolina Panthers on Sunday at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
Kaepernick, who has 3,197 passing yards and 21 touchdowns this season, is expected to bounce back from a dismal performance in his previous game against Carolina as he aims to lead the 49ers back to the Super Bowl, with Super Bowl XLVIII taking place next month in Met Life Stadium in New Jersey.
And San Francisco's favorite quarterback certainly has the momentum on his side. Kaepernick was red-hot against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, throwing for 227 years and a touchdown while running for 98 yards in the Niners' gritty 23-20 win over the Packers at ice cold Lambeau Field.
However, earlier this season, the Panthers stopped Kaepernick in his tracks and shut down the other threats of the defending NFC champions during their first encounter this season in which Carolina escaped with a 10-9 victory on Nov. 10 in San Francisco.
Heading into one of the biggest games of his young NFL career, Kaepernick, who has 1,025 passing yards with five touchdowns in his first four post-season stints, is also expected to make noise not only with his superb play but also with the previous talk surrounding his identity.
The media played with the issue of Kaepernick's race in last year's Super Bowl -- an issue that arguably affected Kaepernick, whose birth father is an African-American, while his birth mother, Heidi Russo, is white.
Russo, who abandoned Kaepernick five weeks after giving birth on Nov. 3, 1987, never talked about the identity of the young quarterback's birth father.
But in their upcoming showdown with the Panther, Kaepernick, who was adopted by a Caucasian family and grew up in California, is expected to play without being affected by previous issues regarding his race and ethnicity.
The former Nevada standout had an interview with Time Sports in July last year in which he vowed to break the quarterbacks' racial barrier.
"I don't ever want to take it to a race level. But, I mean, even with a lot of the quarterbacks in the league who are black, it's 'oh you're a black quarterback,' or 'you're just a running quarterback.' And I think that's another stereotype that I really I feel like I'm trying to break," Kaepernick said.
"When you have success-'Oh, you're a freak athlete.' Not, 'Oh, you're a good quarterback.' And I think that's a barrier that needs to be broken down," Kaepernick added.
In that said interview, Kaepernick also wanted to erase the notion that a quarterback, being the face of a franchise, should be "clean cut" -- an issue that was thrown to him as well due to his tattoos.
"I think it's a perception that's been around for a very long time. It's a perception that I want to break. I don't want people to think you have to look a certain way or be a certain mold to be able to be a quarterback," Kaepernick declared.
These old issues are expected to become subjects of conversations heading into the 49ers's showdown with the Panthers, but Sunday's match will also be the perfect opportunity for Kaepernick to break the racial stereotyping of quarterbacks in the NFL.