Cream always rises to the top. And in the case of Colin Kaepernick, he continues to win in life in spite of not being on the playing field so far this season. In the throws of fighting NFL team owners alleging collusion to keep him out of the league, Kaepernick has moved full-speed ahead in his activism and philanthropic pursuits. GQ Magazine has taken notice of how the veteran quarterback is handling himself through all of the controversy and has named him their 2017 Citizen of the Year.
Gracing the cover of the coveted issue, Kaepernick sports a black leather jacket over a black turtleneck adorned with a simple gold chain and topped off by his now-signature afro. The entire look is reminiscent of Black power activists from the 1970’s a la the Black Panthers.
In the feature article entitled, “Colin Kaepernick Will Not Be Silenced,” the editors of GQ likened the quarterback’s protest to those of Muhammad Ali and Jackie Robinson. He took a stand against police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem all last season. It has cost him a job in the league in spite of being arguably better than 70 percent of all quarterbacks playing this season.
Though he explained early on quite clearly what his motives and intent were in taking that knee, the narrative has been hijacked portraying Kaepernick as anti-American and anti-military. But a movement was created and other players continued kneeling this season which garnered the attention of Donald J. Trump. The sitting president called protesters like Kaepernick a “son of a b*tch” who should be fired by the owners. His tweets have made him a key figure in the collusion case against the league.
Kaepernick’s goal in doing this story was to take back his narrative. But rather than do a traditional interview, he let every picture in the Harlem photo spread speak for him along with testimonies from former teammate and fellow protester Eric Reid, Harry Belafonte, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, J. Cole, Kaep’s girlfriend Nessa, and several others. Kaepernick has remained relatively silent while letting his works bear witness to who he is as a man.
It wouldn't be @GQMagazine without style.
Images from the Citizen of the Year photoshoot of Colin Kaepernick
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 13, 2017
On Monday morning, Kaepernick took to Twitter only to thank GQ for the recognition.
“I’m honored to be recognized by @GQMagazine as Citizen of the Year,” Kaepernick wrote.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 13, 2017