Colin Kaepernick has been named “Citizen of the Year” by GQ magazine.
GQ published its feature story Monday about the former San Francisco 49ers signal-caller and his emergence as a polarizing public figure since his decision to peacefully protest during the national anthem before NFL games.
While Kaepernick is not quoted in the article, titled “Colin Kaepernick Will Not Be Silenced.” GQ writes in the story that Kaepernick, who has not often spoken publicly since opting out of his 49ers contact this offseason, has “grown wise to the power of his silence.”
GQ goes on to state that Kaepernick agreed to participate in its feature because “he wants to reclaim the narrative of his protest.” Most of the piece consists of perspectives from individuals that GQ identifies as Kaepernick’s “closest confidants.”
“Colin also made it clear to us that he intended to remain silent,” GQ writes in the story. “As his public identity has begun to shift from football star to embattled activist, he has grown wise to the power of his silence. It has helped his story go around the world. It has even provoked the ire and ill temper of Donald Trump.”
Kaepernick tweeted Monday that he is “honored” to be recognized by GQ.
San Francisco safety Eric Reid, who joined Kaepernick last year in protest and has proceeded to kneel during the national anthem this season, was one of the individuals who spoke with GQ about his former teammate.
“My goal this year has been to get the narrative back on track,” Reid stated. “We started having communications with the NFL, and they said they’re going to help us make progress on these issues. But the next step is to get Colin back in the NFL. Because he’s the one that started this. I think we’re finally getting where me and Colin envision this going. Now it’s time for him to get back in the league.”
GQ also included various recent images of Kaepernick posing with citizens from Harlem, stating the vision to “connect him to a crusade that stretches back decades.”
Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL last month, claiming that league owners colluded against him in retaliation of the protests, which were initiated to raise awareness of police brutality against African-Americans and minorities, and other civil issues.