Colin Kaepernick Appears On Cover Of GQ As Magazine's "Citizen Of The Year"
GQ named COLIN KAEPERNICK its "Citizen of the Year" for his protest against police brutality, a "determined stand that puts him in rare company in sports history," according to a cover story by GQ. Kaepernick said that the "reason he wanted" to appear on the magazine's cover is that he "wants to reclaim the narrative of his protest, which has been hijacked by a president eager to make this moment about himself." But he also "made it clear" that he "intended to remain silent" moving forward. As his public identity has "begun to shift" from football player to "embattled activist, he has grown wise to the power of his silence." 49ers S ERIC REID, who played with Kaepernick and has protested before every NFL game this season, said, "We started having communications with the NFL, and they said they're going to help us make progress on these issues. But the next step is to get Colin back in the NFL." He added, "These issues are real, and people know they're real. But some will do anything to distract from that, to change the narrative, and it's gotten Colin blackballed from the NFL" (GQ, Dec. '17 issue) NBCSPORTSBAYAREA.com's Ray Ratto wrote GQ "recalibrated a lot of things we have taken for granted" when it named Kaepernick its "Citizen of the Year." Kaepernick had a "conscience" and "exercised it at considerable personal cost and became a national touchstone on the real beginning of the new century" (NBCSPORTS.com, 11/13).
SHARED SPACE: In San Jose, Jon Becker noted Kaepernick "shares the spotlight" on the cover of the latest GQ with Warriors F KEVIN DURANT, who the magazine named its "Champion of the Year" after the Warriors captured the '17 NBA title (MERCURYNEWS.com, 11/13). Durant said that he was "honored to share the magazine with Kaepernick." Durant: "He started a conversation that was needed in this country. He knew he would take a lot of heat for what he did. He stood up for people who can’t stand up for themselves. As athletes, we’re taught to kind of shut up and play our sport. He put everything on the line. You’ve got to respect it. We all stand behind him as athletes. He makes us proud to be part of the athletic community" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/14).
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: FS1’s Jason Whitlock said it is an "embarrassment" that GQ named Kaepernick “Citizen of the Year.” Whitlock: "This is a joke. He posed for a bunch of pictures but wouldn't talk for the interview. He won't explain whatever his movement is other than the promotion of Colin Kaepernick. GQ should be embarrassed." FS1's Colin Cowherd added, "This was a political award. ... This is why the magazine industry is out of business" (“Speak for Yourself,” FS1, 11/13). But ESPN’s Louis Riddick said, "It is good he's being recognized as someone who really drew attention to something that many people wanted to sweep under the rug." ESPN’s Ryan Clark added, “I don't know if his silence has furthered his cause, but many people have picked up the mantle and it's now grown far beyond what it was initially for” ("NFL Live," ESPN, 11/13). ESPN's Michael Wilbon said it is a "good look" for Kaepernick's protest ("PTI," ESPN, 11/13).