GQ Magazine will release four different covers in honor of the magazine’s year end awards, featuring Colin Kaepernick on the front cover as the “Citizen of the Year.”
Kaepernick made the cover alongside Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman of the Year), Stephen Colbert (Bad Hombre of the Year), and Kevin Durant (Champion of the Year). GQ’s editors explained their pick of Kaepernick:
“While Kap maintains his silent protest, he collaborated with GQ on a special project: a wide-ranging series of interviews with ten of his closest confidants and supporters—including rapper J. Cole, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, legendary artist Harry Belafonte, and more. Together, they explore Colin Kaepernick’s actions, provide insight into his world right now, and explain why there’s more work to be done.”
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback made national headlines last year by “taking a knee” during the “National Anthem” to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Remaining steadfast in reclaiming his reason for taking a knee—Kaepernick has sparked the movement of NFL players protesting the national anthem.
Niners linebacker Eric Reid, who joined Kaepernick in his protest last year and has continued kneeling during the national anthem, was one of the people who spoke to GQ about his former teammate.
“He’s been vilified by millions and locked out of the NFL — all because he took a knee to protest police brutality,” GQ wrote in a news release about the cover. “Colin Kaepernick’s determined stand puts him in rare company in sports history: Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson — athletes who risked everything to make a difference.”
In its cover story, “Colin Kaepernick Will Not Be Silenced,” the editors expound upon Kaepernick agreeing to contribute to the project because “he wants to reclaim the narrative of his protest.” The cover story delves into Kaepernick’s journey, which takes readers on an exploration on why Kaepernick decided to take a knee.
Kaepernick declined to be quoted directly in the article, which consists of various perspectives, which GQ describes as Kaepernick’s “closest confidants.”
“Colin also made it clear to us that he intended to remain silent,” GQ says in the article. “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. It has even provoked the ire and ill temper of Donald Trump.”
Kaepernick tweeted Monday morning that he was “honored” to be recognized by GQ in its December Men of the Year issue.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 13, 2017
Other confidants who provided their comments included rapper J. Cole, filmmaker Ave DuVernay, activist Harry Belafonte and Women’s March co-organizer Linda Sarsour.
Kaepernick is named one of GQ’s “Citizens of the Year.” Photo Credit (GQ Magazine)
The images featured in the article by Martin Schoeller, who photographed Kaepernick in Harlem, were meant “to evoke the spirit of Muhammad Ali’s anti-Vietnam War protests in the neighborhood during the late 60s,” according to GQ.
Kaepernick filed a grievance on last month—alleging that NFL owners colluded against him because of the protests, which were aimed at raising awareness of police brutality against African-Americans and other issues.
Kaepernick, who led the Niners to consecutive NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl appearance, has remained unsigned since opting out of his contract in March.
By LeNora Millen 11-13-17