Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been named “Citizen of the Year” by GQ.
Kaepernick is credited with starting the NFL protests against police brutality, which have played such a large part in this year’s edition of the culture war. Since opting out of his contract with the 49ers, he has been unable to get placed with another team, with many suggesting that he has been blackballed from playing in the NFL because of his role in the protests.
“He knelt during the playing of our national anthem. And he did it for a clear reason, one that has been lost in the yearlong storm that followed,” GQ wrote of Kaepernick. “He did it to protest systemic oppression and, more specifically, as he said repeatedly at the time, police brutality toward black people.”
The 30-year-old sports star, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012, has participated in something of a silent protest since he left the football league. Kaepernick has not taken to any podium to address his firing and the subsequent political firestorm, with players continuing to take a a knee in his absence.
“He wants to reclaim the narrative of his protest, which has been hijacked by a president eager to make this moment about himself,” GQ wrote, noting Kaepernick did not go on record for the cover story. “Why talk now, when your detractors will only twist your words and use them against you? Why speak now, when silence has done so much?”
John Schnattner, CEO of beleaguered pizza chain Papa John’s, has yet to comment on Kaepernick being named “Citizen of the Year.” In the past, he has blamed the NFL protests for his company’s flagging sales.
[image via screenshot]
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