It’s been years since Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality, and he still isn’t throwing footballs for an NFL team. Yet, somehow quarterbacks like Mitchell Trubisky and Nathan Peterman are still on team payrolls.
Kaepernick has since become a celebrated hero. Nike has plastered him on powerful commercials and sold signature shoes. The 34-year-old former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has a deal with Netflix, which produced the limited series “Colin in Black and White,” and he is releasing a memoir soon.
The bottom line is that Kaepernick is one of the most influential athletes of all time and stands alongside guys like NBA superstar LeBron James supporting the advancement of Black people and people of color even if his free agency timeline doesn’t reflect that.
It turns out the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native who grew up in Turlock, California, has a woman that has been standing by his side through all he’s endured.
Who is Colin Kaepernick’s Girlfriend Nessa Diab?
Colin Kaepernick has been dating Nessa Diab for at least the last half decade, and according to TMZ they went official in February 2016. The woman from Los Angeles simply goes by Nessa in her circles, though.
Nessa is the daughter of an Egyptian father and a Middle Eastern mother. She was raised a Muslim, grew up in California and graduated from UC Berkeley in mass communications, according to Heavy.com.
When she was a young girl, her parents moved the family to Saudi Arabia for her father’s job. She told Starcasm she was “fearing for my life” and “wore gas masks to school.”
“I heard war sirens constantly, and I knew at this point, I had to break out of this lifestyle.”
Kaepernick, who was adopted by parents Rick and Teresa, has been the subject of anti-Muslim hate despite being a Christian.
“I have great respect for the religion, know a lot of people that are Muslim and are phenomenal people, but I think that (rumor of conversion) comes along with people’s fear of this protest, as well as Islamophobia in this country,” Kaepernick told USA Today in 2017. “People are terrified of them to the point where [Donald Trump] wants to ban all Muslims from coming here, which is ridiculous.”
The two have been photographed at high-profile events like the MET Gala in New York City, the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta and the 2017 TIME 100 Gala.
She’s a TV Personality & Radio Host
Nessa is a pretty well-known TV personality and radio host. She’s starred in MTV‘s “Girl Code” and has hosted NBC‘s talk show “Talk Stoop.” She’s also hosted MTV‘s “Teen Mom” reunion episode called “Teen Mom Aftershow” and “Real World,” as well as hosting a nationally syndicated radio show called “Nessa on Air” for Hot97 in New York City.
Her Hot97 radio station bio boasts that she’s loved for her quick wit and great personality in addition to her 10-plus years in the business. She’s conducted interviews with hip-hop artists, rappers and singers like Drake, Chris Brown and Mariah Carey, just to name a few.
In addition to her work, she’s also involved in many organizations throughout Harlem and the Bronx and has served as a mentor at the Lower East Side Girls Club.
Nessa Always Has Colin’s Back
Nessa has never been afraid to speak her mind, and she’s supported Kaepernick’s activism.
Way before Kaepernick even took a knee in 2016, Nessa was by his side. In fact, the two launched the Know Your Rights Camp to oppose social injustice and “advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.”
Kaepernick in April 2020 kicked off the camp’s COVID-19 relief fund by donating $100,000 to raise money and awareness specifically for the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on Black communities.
“It’s liberating when you love people,” Nessa told Paper. “It’s liberating when you want to see goodness happen because you love them. For me, I know loving Colin has liberated me to a point where, if we can’t do good for this world, I don’t want to be here. And if I can’t do it with him, I don’t want to exist here.”
In June 2020, Nessa called out NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he put out a statement saying the NFL was wrong for “not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”
“And you @nflcommish STILL have @Kaepernick7 blackballed for peacefully protesting,” Nessa responded in a tweet.
In 2017, when the Baltimore Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh were considering signing the NFL quarterback in light of Joe Flacco’s injury, Nessa tweeted a picture of Ray Lewis hugging Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti following the team’s Super Bowl win. Below it was an image from “Django Unchained” of Samuel L. Jackson, whose character was a slave, hugging Leonardo DiCaprio, who played his owner.
The social media image didn’t sit well with the Hall of Fame linebacker, who called it a “racist gesture” and claimed it blew Kaepernick’s shot at a comeback in the NFL.
Kaepernick starred at John H. Pitman High School in Turlock, California, before setting records at Nevada. The former second-round NFL Draft pick may never get a second stint in the NFL despite owning a pretty darn good career touchdown-to-interception ratio and showing he still has the ability judging from his Atlanta workout in 2019.
Even if the American football player, civil rights activist and free agent doesn’t throw another football, at least he’s got his girl by his side.
This post was originally published on September 4, 2020.