Colin Kaepernick named GQ’s Citizen of the Year | NFL

Colin Kaepernick can’t get a job quarterbacking an NFL team, but he’s not lacking in recognition after GQ named the social justice icon its “Citizen of the Year.”

“In 2013, Colin Kaepernick was on the cover of this magazine because he was one of the best football players in the world. In 2017, Colin Kaepernick is on GQ’s cover once again—but this time it is because he isn’t playing football. And it’s not because he’s hurt, or because he’s broken any rules, or because he’s not good enough,” GQ said. “He is still, to this day, one of the most gifted quarterbacks on earth. And yet he has been locked out of the game he loves—blackballed—because of one simple gesture: He knelt during the playing of our national anthem. And he did it for a clear reason, one that has been lost in the yearlong storm that followed.”

In the article titled “Colin Kaepernick Will Not Be Silenced,” GQ compiled testimony from former teammates, educators, filmmakers, activists and entertainment icons to encapsulate the impact Kaepernick has had on social injustice over the last year since his peaceful protests before NFL games.

“You’re talking about a guy in his athletic prime, who’s lived his whole life dreaming about playing football at a level that millions of kids dream to get to,” rapper J. Cole said. “But then, at some point in time, he becomes conscious about what’s happening in the world. And suddenly something that he’s been doing blindly for his whole life—standing for the national anthem—now feels uncomfortable. Why? Because now it feels phony!”

Many spoke of his bravery and the how he’s seemingly blackballed by the league for his efforts, and others spoke of his character and mind.

“Colin is just a learned person. If you really sit and talk to him, he is a seeker of knowledge,” said Ameer Hasan Loggins, a writer and lecturer. “I think that Colin’s convictions provide him with comfort. A comfort that some of us are uncomfortable with, because we’re mad for him. We’re upset to see somebody who gives a damn being treated so poorly.”

Read the full piece here.

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