It named the former San Fransisco 49ers quarterback their first "citizens of the year" on Monday. 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.
He was featured on the cover of GQ back in 2013 during the height of his career, but he remains without a team this season - a situation many claim to be the result of his protest.
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Kaepernick, according to the magazine, agreed to be on the cover because he wanted to "reclaim the narrative" centered around his protest. That's made room for his protest to be interpreted in different ways, but rather than let "detractors will only twist your words and use them against you" as the GQ piece reads, the magazine invited Kaepernick's friends, mentors, and former teammates to shed light on why the objective of his protest should not be diluted over time. "I guess selfishly I'm trying to get to heaven".
"These issues are real, and people know they're real".
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Opponents believe Kaepernick and other players are disrespecting the nation and the flag by not standing for the anthem.
"As his public identity has begun to shift from football star to embattled activist, he has grown wise to the power of his silence", the article explains. It has even provoked the ire and ill temper of Donald Trump.
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Durant, who earned his first National Basketball Association title after joining the high-powered Golden State Warriors last season and was named MVP of the Finals, is Champion of the Year, while Colbert, who remains outspoken about politics and President Trump, is the magazine's Bad Hombre of the Year. Why speak now, when silence has done so much?