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Colin Kaepernick paid tribute to his mother. Why she's the one who stole the show

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his mother, Teresa Kaepernick, arrive at the third annual "Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms" on Thursday in Los Angeles. The show aired Monday night on VH1.
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his mother, Teresa Kaepernick, arrive at the third annual "Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms" on Thursday in Los Angeles. The show aired Monday night on VH1. Invision/The Associated Press

An event made for television was the setting for Colin Kaepernick to pay tribute to his mother.

However, mom turned the tables on her son.

The Kaepernicks were featured on "Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms," which took place Thursday in Los Angeles but didn't air until Monday night.

Before Teresa Kaepernick took the stage, the former 49ers quarterback paid tribute to the woman whose family adopted him and raised him in Turlock, as seen in a tweet from Now This.

"As a child, I would draw family pictures in kindergarten, fully aware of that fact that I had to switch the colors of the crayons," Kaepernick said of his family members, who are white. "While I did wonder who I looked like, I never had to wonder whether my mother loved me or not."

He discussed kids who would inquire about his biological parents ("Who's your real mother?") and adults at baseball games who weren't aware who his mother was, saying, "It was her who gave a tongue lashing to the parents in the stands, speaking ill about the black child striking out all their sons."

While the tribute is supposed to be to mothers of celebrities and athletes, Teresa Kaepernick, who lives in Modesto, took the opportunity to speak highly of her son.

"Your dad and I have had so many proud moments since the day you came into our lives," she said. "I don't believe I've ever seen you be cruel or speak nastily of anyone."

She continued her tribute, pointing out how many people have spoken highly of him and his tenacity in his pursuit of reaching the NFL. But it's his desire to help others that she admires most. His activism is a huge reason why he's not currently playing pro football.

“When you see injustice in this world, you are not the kind of man who sits back and hopes that someone else will deal with it, even though it may mean sacrificing your dreams,” she said.

Kaepernick, who began silently protesting the national anthem before games in August 2016, has not played in the NFL since the end of the 2016-17 season. He and the team parted ways in March 2017.

"Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms" is put on by actress Gabrielle Union and musician Sean Combs, better known as Puff Daddy or Diddy. It aired Monday on VH1.

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