Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is finally getting some recognition, as GQ Magazine announces him as their Citizen of the Year. Last year he made headlines for refusing to stand during the national anthem at National Football League games. He is protesting the oppression of black people and people of color, and the police brutality they suffer every day in our country.
When asked why he refused to stand, he replied:
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.
Today Kaepernick continues to protest, even at the cost of his football career.
He has not gone unheard, though, as GQ honors the man who became a movement with a cover story.
I'm honored to be recognized by @GQMagazine as Citizen of the Year. https://t.co/s6wBZTa6tH— Colin Kaepernick (@Colin Kaepernick) 1510582522.0
Some people were triggered.
@GQMagazine @Kaepernick7 @StephenAtHome @GalGadot @KDTrey5 GQ decided this will be the year the Magazine goes out of business.— Bears SB LIII Champs (@Bears SB LIII Champs) 1510581010.0
@tacgm @GQMagazine @Kaepernick7 @StephenAtHome @GalGadot @KDTrey5 I guess you do not realize it, but he did make hi… https://t.co/zNgFVOpdLe— Ann Moro (@Ann Moro) 1510581614.0
Many were quick to suggest others who they felt better deserved recognition - namely, fellow football player JJ Watt or American soldiers
JJ Watt raised $37 Million for Hurricane Harvey victims, yet cop-hater Colin Kaepernick is named Citizen of the Year by GQ? What BS.— Joe Walsh (@Joe Walsh) 1510598686.0
@GQMagazine @Kaepernick7 FOOLS @GQMagazine @GQStyle #GQ This is a true HERO..you just trashed all veterans and poli… https://t.co/ZszqtZJIjv— HorseBelle (@HorseBelle) 1510591743.0
@Kaepernick7 @GQMagazine Ruined NFL Check Ruined career with hate Check Ruined a magazine Check and Ruined fans,… https://t.co/Is48kd2rHf— HorseBelle (@HorseBelle) 1510584493.0
And these are just the relatively nice criticisms. It got ugly out there folks...
@GQMagazine @Kaepernick7 @StephenAtHome @GalGadot @KDTrey5 Reading all these fake patriots being butt hurt over Kae… https://t.co/iUnmot5S8L— Joe.D 🇭🇹 (@Joe.D 🇭🇹) 1510590333.0
But there were other voices, of support and praise.
GQ mag did the right thing by making Colin Kaepernick "Citizen of the Year". Let's continue to shine a spotlight on… https://t.co/vqEZ9YWp8X— Tariq Nasheed (@Tariq Nasheed) 1510587557.0
The good people @GQMagazine just named Colin Kaepernick its Citizen of the Year. On the cover now. FULL STORY:… https://t.co/W8OvyIn2D4— Shaun King (@Shaun King) 1510583362.0
One veteran recognizes that Kaepernick is fighting for Constitutional values, just as he did, calling the man a true patriot.
As a proud military veteran, I could not agree more with @GQMagazine in honoring Colin Kaepernick as "Citizen of th… https://t.co/cEAJt2L4Ig— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈) 1510603257.0
Colin Kaepernick will not be silenced.
For the cover story, GQ did an interesting thing. Kaepernick stayed silent while Ava DuVernay, J. Cole, Harry Belafonte and more spoke about him and the importance of his protest.
For Colin Kaepernick's cover story, @ava, @msladyjustice1, @jcolenc, @TamikaDMallory, @LeftSentThis, @E_Reid35,… https://t.co/hgztd8z8pk— GQ Magazine (@GQ Magazine) 1510582693.0
Harry Belafonte's comments in this are very moving: https://t.co/nQjM4nVvFe https://t.co/6KdbdkZKUl— Lindsey Adler (@Lindsey Adler) 1510581761.0
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h/t: GQ Magazine