Colin Kaepernick and his longtime partner Nessa Diab announced that they have welcomed their first child together in a sweet Instagram post on Sunday.
"Colin and I welcomed our amazing baby to the world a few weeks ago and we are over the moon with our growing family," Diab wrote, adding that she "thought long and hard" about sharing their news.
"Recovering after delivery has been a journey (more on that later) and honestly I wasn’t going to share anything because this is sooooo personal to us and I realized I’m a complete mama bear! Colin is the most amazing dad and I’m soooo grateful that he is by our side for every moment of this journey," she wrote in the caption, alongside a photo of the couple holding their newborn on a hospital bed.
Diab, a Hot 97 host, former Girl Code star, and women's rights advocate, was first romantically linked with Kaepernick in 2015. The couple made it official when they stepped out together at a charity event on Valentine's Day in 2016, according to TMZ.
In her Instagram post on Sunday, Diab reflected on how her life is already different as a new mom.
"My conversations and life experiences have already changed," she wrote. "And my world has gotten that much bigger thanks to our sweet little baby who has shown me how to love in ways I never knew."
A former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick first began protesting against police brutality on the field in 2016, refusing to stand when the national anthem played before a game.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he said at the time. "To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
Kaepernick continued kneeling even as it enraged the league, team owners, fans, and then-president Donald Trump. He has faced serious repercussions in his career for doing so; Kaepernick has not played professionally since 2017, when the outrage over his peaceful protests reached fever pitch.
Diab has been outspoken about the NFL's treatment of Kaepernick in the past, criticizing Commissioner Roger Goodell for blackballing the quarterback for demonstrating peacefully even as Goodell acknowledged the league's racism toward Black players. The couple also founded Know Your Rights Camp, an advocacy organization for Black and brown communities that also helps the families of police violence victims get a free independent autopsy.