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Colin Kaepernick is the newest investor in Naomi Osaka’s KINLÒ

Osaka has also chosen a new Black female president for her melanin-conscious skincare brand, marketing maven Mia Meachem.

Few people in the world know what it’s like to be an athlete at the top of one’s game—and even fewer have found themselves in the middle of a firestorm for daring to express their convictions. It’s an experience former NFL player-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick and tennis phenom and mental health advocate Naomi Osaka have in common, in addition to both being ambassadors for Nike. Now, the two are joining forces in another arena, as Kaepernick has become an investor in Osaka’s skincare brand, KINLÒ.

Photos: Getty Images

Technically, KINLÒ is marketed as a “functional suncare brand formulated specifically for people with melanated skin.” As reported via a release on BusinessWire on Thursday: “Athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick, along with his partners Canadian businessman Jim Nikopoulos and NHL veteran and activist Akim Aliu, have made a seed investment in KINLÒ with Kaepernick joining the brand’s board of directors.”

“I am honored to join Naomi and her amazing KINLÒ team of diverse and experienced leaders as the company works to grow a responsible business all while maintaining its commitment to the community we have set out to serve,” said Kaepernick in a statement, adding: “Not only does KINLÒ produce compelling and sustainable personal care products, but it also calls attention to the ways that melanated skin-toned communities are often marginalized in research around suncare and often excluded from clinical studies on skin cancer. I believe KINLÒ has the capacity to right this wrong.”

As BusinessWire further reports, Kaepernick’s investment in Osaka’s brand is a natural outgrowth of their years-long friendship, as well as “a shared commitment to elevate Black-owned brands and bring attention to the public health needs of communities of color.” In addition to founder Osaka, Kaepernick will be joined on the brand’s board by A-Frame co-founders Ari Bloom and actor Hill Harper, as well as Osaka’s agent Stuart Duguid. Tennis legend Billie Jean King is also among the brand’s investors.

“I am really excited about the new leadership we have built around KINLÒ,” said Osaka in a statement. “Colin is such an important and iconic figure in our culture and also brings a smart business mind. There is no one I could think better represents the values of our brand.”

Also on the KINLÒ board is the brand’s new president, Mia Meachem, who joins the team with over 20 years of brand marketing experience, notes BusinessWire. Prior to assuming the helm of KINLÒ, Meachem was vice president of global marketing at beloved skincare brand Drunk Elephant.

“Bringing Mia on board is another essential move,” Osaka explained. “Her experience in the industry gives her a unique perspective that I hope will help take the brand to the next level. Whenever I choose people in leadership positions on my team, whether on or off the court, I always look to people who are true experts in their field. Mia is exactly that and I can’t wait to get started with her.”

Described by A-Frame President Ari Bloom as ” a seasoned leader with an extensive background in beauty, marketing, and building stellar brands,” Meachem is expected to spearhead the growth and development of Osaka’s line of “mineral-based, non-chemical products” that already have a cult following.

“I am thrilled to join Naomi and the team at KINLÒ and feel incredibly inspired by the brand’s commitment of raising awareness to the importance of sun protection for melanated skin,” said Meachem in a statement. “I am particularly excited to be leading a mission-driven brand that creates products that are accessible and specifically formulated for people of color. Being a part of this journey is personally meaningful and I look forward to driving KINLÒ’s continued growth and success.”

For more information on KINLÒ, please visit the brand’s website.

Maiysha Kai is Lifestyle Editor of theGrio, covering all things Black and beautiful. Her work is informed by two decades’ experience in fashion and entertainment, a love of great books and aesthetics, and the indomitable brilliance of Black culture. She is also a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and editor of the YA anthology Body (Words of Change series).

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