According to GQ, “Colin Kaepernick's protest against police brutality puts him in rare company in sports history.”
Kaepernick was the first pro-athlete to take a knee during the national anthem at NFL games last year in protest over police brutality, and racial and social injustice.
A quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick was not resigned after the season ended earlier this year. Since his initial protests, dozens of athletes have joined in, kneeling during the national anthem in solidarity.
Although a better quarterback than many of his peers, no NFL team has signed him.
“Approximately 90 men are currently employed as quarterbacks in the NFL, as either starters or reserves, and Colin Kaepernick is better—indisputably, undeniably, flat-out better—than at least 70 of them,” GQ said in explaining why Kaepernick was chosen as its Citizen of the Year.
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"And yet he has been locked out of the game he loves—blackballed—because of one simple gesture: He knelt during the playing of our national anthem."
In taking a knee, Kaepernick took a stand and inspired a movement that has reverberated around the world, and that’s why GQ named Kaepernick its Citizen of the Year.
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant was named GQ's 2017 "Champion of the Year." Late night TV show host Stephen Colbert was named "Bad Hombre of the Year," and GQ named a woman, Gal Gadot, as its "Wonder Woman of the Year."