Throughout Colin Kaepernick's battle against racial violence and his subsequent ban from football, his girlfriend Nessa Diab has stood by his side.
Beside every great man, goes the saying, stands a great woman. In Colin Kaepernick's case, the woman in question is radio personality and TV host, Nessa Diab.
Nessa and Colin started dating in 2015, and for the last 5 years, they have been inseparable. Nessa has been Colin's most passionate defender against critics who criticize his for kneeling during the National Anthem to protest racial violence and discrimination.
Colin was rumored to have converted to Islam under Nessa's influence
Colin Kaepernick and Nessa Diab attend Tyler Perry Studios Grand Opening Gala in 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia | Source: Getty Images
Nessa and Colin met when she interviewed him, and the two started dating. The "Girl Code" host was born in California, but she spent most of her childhood in the Middle East.
"Here is the thing, I was a young girl fearing for my life - I wore gas masks to school. I heard war sirens constantly."
In 2016, at a presentation game, Colin took the knee during the national anthem as a protest against the ongoing police violence against African Americans, and against all forms of discrimination. The gesture was not well received by the public or the NFL.
Colin Kaepernick at a private NFL workout held at Charles R Drew high school on November 16, 2019 in Riverdale, Georgia | Source: Getty Images
Republican congressman Steve King blamed COlin's gesture of "disrespecting" the national anthem on his Muslim girlfriend, Nessa's influence. King said:
"I understand that he has an Islamic girlfriend that is his fiancée, and that this has changed him and has taken on some different political views along the way."
As a result of his gesture, Colin saw his contracts canceled, and became a free agent. He hasn't played football since, as team after team backed out before signing a contract with the quarterback. Colin filed a course against the NFL accusing the organization of pressuring clubs to keep him out of the league.
Nessa stood up for her boyfriend and was very vocal in her criticism of the NFL and the teams that failed to follow through on their interest in signing on Colin. She posted a Tweet of an image of NFL star Ray Lewis who had criticized Colin with his arms around Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.
She paired the snap with a still from the 2012 Quentin Tarantino "Django Unchained" which shows actor Samuel L. Jackson as the enslaved Django with his arms around Brad Pitt who played his vicious, unprincipled Southern owner.
The Tweet became almost as controversial as Colin's gesture of taking the knee during the National Anthem, and many of the football player's fans blamed Nessa for the NFL's continuing rejection and the foundering of his career.
"I think that (rumor of conversion) comes along with people’s fear of this protest, as well as Islamophobia in this country."
Metaphorically, Colin is still taking the knee, he has continued his work advocating against discrimination and was awarded the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award in 2018. Colin has become an icon to millions, and many celebrities have expressed their solidarity with the football player, by emulating his gesture.
Colin was featured in a 2018 Nike commercial with the inspiring message: "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything." Despite the foundering of his career as a sportsman, but he has employed his fame in influence to help society.
Colin founded the "Know Your Rights Camp", an organization with the stated aim of empowering people through knowledge of their rights under the law:
"Our mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems."
Colin and Nessa are united in their belief that silence is the enemy of justice and system, and they have used their work and their celebrity status to advance the dissemination of their causes.