- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has joined a film project about sprinter Tommie Smith’s famous “Black Power salute” at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games.

The man who started controversial national anthem protests that have rocked the NFL since 2016 has joined the production team of “With Drawn Arms: A Collaborative Project for Social Justice,” a Kickstarter project to “bring back the relevance and awareness of Tommie’s gesture and turn it into a wider conversation about equality and human rights.”

The news comes in conjunction with claims by Mr. Kaepernick’s lawyer that the activist will probably have a professional football contract “within the next 10 days.”

L.A.-based artist Glenn Kaino confirmed the collaboration Wednesday to The Hollywood Reporter after initially playing coy with the magazine in early October.

Mr. Smith won the 200-meter race at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. He, along with bronze medalist John Carlos, raised a black-gloved fist during the national anthem to raise awareness of human rights issues.

“During the award ceremony, Tommie walked to the platform wearing only black socks on his feet — the first sign of a symbolic protest that would become even more powerful in the following minutes,” the film’s Kickstarter page reads. “He accepted the gold medal, and then, as the customary playing of the national anthem began, he raised his fist to give the Black Power salute and then, bowed his head.”

Mr. Kaino will receive a co-directing credit with Afshin Shahidi.

“It’s a complicated story because [Tommie Smith] has not been treated well by this country, and so it’s important for us to understand that so when we see people who are standing up for themselves like Colin Kaepernick now that we understand their sacrifice and treat them appropriately,” Mr. Kaino said, THR reported.

The film will be co-produced by singer John Legend and his Get Lifted Film Co. partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius, “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams and Smith’s wife Delores,” THR reported.

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