Rapper J. Cole, who met Kaepernick years ago, was frank about his surprise at seeing Kaepernick take a knee before realizing the power of what the quarterback was doing.
Magazine announced its "Men (and Woman) of the Year" awards Monday, and National Football League free agent Colin Kaepernick snagged "Citizen of the Year".
The public stand of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who is now without a team, has sparked a wave of similar protests across the National Football League and other athletic events.More news: Championship 4 set following Round of 8 finale at Phoenix
There are some who share GQ's opinion that Kaepernick would've been picked up had he not begun the protest. But 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. It also transformed Colin Kaepernick into a lightning rod and a powerful symbol of activism and resistance.
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant was named GQ's 2017 "Champion of the Year".
Kaepernick was the first pro-athlete to take a knee during the national anthem at NFL games past year in protest over police brutality, and racial and social injustice.More news: Kizer plays well, but Browns still lose to go 0-9
Kaepernick still remains unsigned after opting out of his contract with the 49ers in March.
Kaepernick says on Twitter he's "honored" by the recognition.
The magazine 's story includes comments from several of Kaepernick's supporters and confidants.More news: Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is Coming and, Dear God, So Much Power!
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