San Francisco 49ers

Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick named GQ Magazine’s “Citizen of the Year”

(Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports)

Colin Kaepernick has been named GQ Magazine’s “Citizen of the Year”

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is pictured on the cover with the caption “Citizen of the Year.” Late-night host Stephen Colbert, actress Gal Gadot and Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant are also recognized in the issue.

The Magazine published a feature story Monday about the Kaepernick and his emergence as a polarizing figure since his decision to protest during the national anthem.

In Kaepernick’s cover story, “Colin Kaepernick Will Not Be Silenced,” GQ editors write that the free-agent quarterback wanted to contribute to the article and helped connect the magazine with 10 of his friends and confidants. He also posed for a series of photos in Harlem. However, Kaepernick is not quoted in the story. GQ states in the story that Kaepernick, who has rarely spoken publicly since becoming a free agent earlier this year, has “grown wise to the power of his silence.”

“Colin also made it clear to us that he intended to remain silent,” GQ states in the article. “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 morning that he was “honored” to be recognized by GQ.

Kaepernick garnered national attention last year by taking a knee during the national anthem as a means of protesting racial inequality and police brutality. He became a free agent in March and has remained unsigned this season, which prompted him to recently file a collusion grievance against NFL owners.

Niners linebacker Eric Reid, who joined Kaepernick last year in his protest and has continued to kneel during the national anthem this season, was one of the individuals who spoke to GQ about his former teammate.

“My goal this year has been to get the narrative back on track,” Reid said. “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.”

As other players have continued the national anthem demonstrations that Kaepernick started, the quarterback himself has largely remained quiet. He declined to be quoted for GQ’s story, which instead includes interviews with singer Harry Belafonte, rapper J. Cole, director Ava DuVernay and former teammate Eric Reid, among others.

“Had (Kaepernick not taken a knee), this guy would be making millions of dollars right now. Period, point blank,” rapper J. Cole said in the article. “And more important than the money, he was living his dream. He sacrificed his dream.”

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Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick named GQ Magazine’s “Citizen of the Year”

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