Yet another entity has taken a public stance on the largest sports controversy of 2017: Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest. The former quarterback was featured on the cover of the GQ Men Of the Year issue, and given the title of “Citizen Of the Year” by the magazine.
Earlier this year, Kaepernick started a demonstration that spread among other athletes to kneel during the national anthem, to protest the treatment of black people by law enforcement and to support the Black Lives Matter movement. He faced so much opposition that he was blacklisted and no longer plays in the NFL, even garnering attention from Donald Trump, who called his protest “Total disrespect for our great country!”.
GQ aimed to dispel the image created, centering on Kaepernick’s goals and intentions of this protest. He was photographed for the issue in a neighborhood in Harlem amongst kids, as Kaepernick cites the cause of his fight to protecting those who do not have a loud public voice.
Despite the ubiquity of his protest, Kaepernick himself has not personally spoken out much about his actions. GQ instead focuses on his allies’ views of the protest, who range from rapper J. Cole to civil rights legend Harry Belafonte.
“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.”, GQ writes.
GQ’s Men Of the Year issue also honored important figures from this year’s political climate, including Gal Gadot, titled “Wonder Woman Of the Year”, and Stephen Colbert, awarded “Bad Hombre Of the Year”.