Turlock son Colin Kaepernick — whose sitting (which quickly turned into kneeling) during the national anthem to protest police brutality sparked a movement — is one of the Men of the Year in the December issue of GQ magazine. His specific title is Citizen of the Year.
The article "Colin Kaepernick will not be silenced" notes that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback's determined stand puts him among athletes such as Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali who risked everything to make a difference.
Though the headline notes the Pitman High grad "will not be silenced," Kaepernick is not interviewed for the article. "When we began discussing this GQ cover with Colin earlier this fall, he told us the reason he wanted to participate is that he wants to reclaim the narrative of his protest, which has been hijacked by a president eager to make this moment about himself," the piece reads. "But Colin also made it clear to us that he intended to remain silent. As his public identity has begun to shift from football star to embattled activist, he has grown wise to the power of his silence."
Kaepernick helped GQ assemble a 10-person team of his closest confidants, including filmmaker Ava DuVernay, rapper J. Crew, actor-activist Harry Belafonte and former 49ers teammate Eric Reid, who was the first NFL player to join him in kneeling.
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"My goal this year has been to get the narrative back on track," Reid told GQ. "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."
GQ's other December cover stars are Kevin Durant (Champion of the Year), Stephen Colbert (Bad Hombre of the Year) and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman of the Year).
Todd Starnes, host of Fox News & Commentary, wrote that "coward of the year" is a more apt label for Kaepernick. "GQ, the magazine for emasculated men, hailed Mr. Kaepernick as a 'powerful symbol of activism and resistance,'" Starnes wrote. "... Apparently, GQ seems to think that disrespecting our military and spitting on our flag is a symbol of heroism and manliness. That’s not citizenship — that’s cowardice."