Colin Kaepernick has been named “Citizen of the Year” by GQ magazine. The men’s fashion and livestyle magazine recognized Kaepernick for his social justice activism last year.
Kaepernick, 30, showed up for the cover shoot and a photo spread inside the issue, but he refused to sit for an interview.
The unemployed NFL quarterback tweeted that he was “honored” by the cover.
In the article titled “Colin Kaepernick Will Not Be Silenced” the writer compares him to Muhammad Ali who refused to be drafted because war violated his religious beliefs.
In lieu of an interview, celebrities and notables commented on what Kaepernick’s activism means to them.
Kaepernick sparked the ongoing NFL protests during the national anthem by refusing to come off the bench last year. He told reporters that he was protesting racial inequality and police brutality.
But the protests evolved into acts of defiance toward U.S. President Donald Trump, who told team owners to fire or suspend players who bent a knee during the anthem.
Only 3 players knelt during games over the weekend as America observed Veteran’s Day.
Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos has filed a lawsuit against team owners claiming they colluded with Trump to deprive Kapernick of a paycheck. But legal analysts say the claim will be difficult to prove in court.
Kaepernick graces one of four GQ covers this month. The other covers include TV host Stephen Colbert, NBA player Kevin Durant, and actress Gal Gadot.
Photos by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images, GQ magazine