During Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, an old rumor that stems from 2015 surfaced: He’s a Muslim. But the San Francisco 49ers quarterback is actually a Christian and did not convert to Islam for his Muslim girlfriend, Hot 97 host Nessa Diab.
The scuttlebutt originally came courtesy of Terez Owens, who received an “anonymous tip” about Kaepernick supposedly changing religions. “Now we’re hearing he’s transitioning to become a Muslim, according to people close to the player. We received this in our tipbox, Colin’s girlfriend, Hot 97 DJ Nessa, introduced him to the teachings of Islam, and he’s ready to embrace it fully,” the publication wrote over two years ago. “Our tipster tells us Kaep and Nessa are going to have a traditional Muslim wedding. Colin seems to be all over the place lately.”
The rumor was soon debunked by Snopes, a website that regularly dismantles internet hoaxes.
Back in 2013, Kaepernick made it to Christian Today’s list of “controversial Christians in the NFL.” What made him controversial, according to the site, is that he has a full sleeve of tattoos. His parents supported their son and said that he tattooed himself with Bible verses.
“Colin's a fairly religious kid, but he's not in your face about it,” his father, Rick, told USA Today in 2012. “It's more about him and what he believes.”
Nessa has not publicly spoken about her religion, but she did talk about her upbringing.
The Hot 97 host is originally from Southern California, but traveled between California and the Middle East as a child. “Here is the thing, I was a young girl fearing for my life-- I wore gas masks to school,” she said about being present during the Gulf War in Iraq, according to Starcasm. “I heard war sirens constantly and I knew at this point I had to break out of this lifestyle.”
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