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The Untold Truth of Colin Kaepernick’s Mother – Heidi Russo

Who is Heidi Russo?

Heidi Russo was born in the USA in 1969, and is a nurse, but best recognized for being the biological mother of former National Football League (NFL) player, Colin Kaepernick who is known for his career with the San Francisco 49ers. She rose to fame and controversy following her trying to reconnect with her son after he had become a famous American Football player.

The Riches of Heidi Russo

As of mid-2020, Heidi Russo’s net worth is estimated to be over $100,000, earned through a successful career as a nurse.

She has worked as a nurse for most of her life, and unlike many celebrity mothers, she doesn’t gain financial support from her son, as the two aren’t closely connected.

Adoption

Heidi became involved in a relationship with an African-American man during her teens, and she became pregnant during this time. After learning that she was with child, the man deserted her and she was left to bear the pregnancy alone. While her parents convinced her that they would support her as a mother, she didn’t feel that she was ready and able to support the child’s needs, so put the child up for adoption – he was adopted by Teresa and Rick Kaepernick, a couple who had lost children through heart defects, and would become Colin Kaepernick.

As the child grew, she remained in contact with the foster parents who consistently sent her photos of her child, however, through some unknown circumstances, they later lost all contact. She continued with her career as a nurse but didn’t bother with reconnecting with her child who was living a happy life. Suddenly, during the start of Colin’s fame, the media caught wind of her due to her efforts to reconnect.

Controversies and Other Endeavors

Once Colin had become the quarterback of the 49ers, Russo make efforts to reunite with him as she regretted not being in contact with him as he grew up; she didn’t regret the adoption as she believes it was the right decision at the time.

Heidi Russo, la madebiológica de Colin Kaepernick, quarterback de los 49ers de San Francisco. A las seis semanas de nacido lo dío en adopciónFoto: Getty images

Posted by Diario Extra on Sunday, May 12, 2013

Colin refused her advances as he didn’t want to betray the upbringing and love that his foster parents gave him. She also gained a lot of criticism from his fans who felt that she was only trying to use Colin’s status and money. Despite being rejected multiple times, she continues to make efforts to reconnect, particularly on social media. She had attracted criticism once more after she criticized her son for his protest against racial inequality, kneeling during the national anthem prior to games. Many criticized her for dealing with it publicly through social media, instead of personally.

Aside from her reconnection effort, she is a part of a group called Linked Thru Love which was created to help remove stereotypes associated with mothers who gave up their children for adoption.

She is also a part of the organization Three Strands, which aims to help mothers who are struggling, as well as those who’ve just given up their children for adoption.

Son – Colin Kaepernick

Colin grew up as the foster son of the Kaepernicks, with two adoptive siblings – the family moved to California where he became interested in American Football. He played with a youth team, and attended John H. Pitman High School where he established himself as a very athletic player, succeeding in several sports. After matriculating, he received numerous offers to pursue professional baseball, as he had gained numerous accolades as a pitcher. He declined and opted to play American Football in college.

Colin Kaepernick

He enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno which had offered him a scholarship, and during his time in the school, he helped achieve numerous wins. He still considered a career in professional baseball, and was even drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2009 but opted to stay in college. He extended his senior year and broke numerous school records. In 2011 he entered the NFL Draft, and was selected by the 49ers during the second round of the draft.

NFL Career and Life After – Colin Kaepernick

He spent most of his rookie season as a backup player; he scored his first touchdown in the league during his sophomore season, and was considered to start games for the 49ers, which attracted some controversy.

He helped the team during the post-season, and led them to their appearance at Super Bowl XLVII, competing against the Baltimore Ravens, but losing. He continued to excel in the next few years, leading to a six-year contract worth $126 million. He struggled in the 2015 season due to a new coach, and expressed a desire to be traded. In 2016, his season was filled with multiple injuries including a season-ending shoulder issue that required surgery. After a new coach was added to the 49ers, he was told by the team that he didn’t fit the new system and he dropped out of his contract, becoming a free agent.

Following his exit, he was refused multiple times by numerous NFL teams due to his protest actions as a player with the 49ers. After a few years of no signings, he filed a grievance lawsuit with the NFL, demanding pay for collusion between NFL owners to not sign him. The trial ended in an undisclosed settlement. He continues to express a desire to play, and has been attending workouts but has been shunned on most occasions. He was then approached by two other American Football leagues, but he declined as they could not match his pay in the NFL.

Personal Life

While working as a nurse, Heidi met Heath Russo and the two started a relationship, leading to marriage. They have three children together, and the family now resides in Denver, Colorado. In recent years, she has remained silent about her issue of not being able to reconnect with her son. In the meantime, she is supporting various charitable endeavors and expressing her faith online. She has been subtly showing support to the African-American community like her son, by posting various advocacies to give proper rights to African-American victims of crime or hate.

David Leigh

Joined Biography Panda in May 2020. Formerly deputy celebrity editor for Elle magazine. Studied at The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

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