Somebody cue up the Schoolboy Q “Man of the Year”
because GQ has named former NFL Quarterback and political activist Colin Kaepernick the “Citizen of the Year
” for its Man of the Year issue. This includes giving him the cover in a gesture that is “celebrating the man who became a movement”. The image evokes the Black Power imagery of the 1960s Black Panthers- with a polished look including a natural afro, dapper tuxedo jacket and black turtleneck with a gold chain. The photo shoot took place in Harlem and the accompanying special project was written to “reclaim the narrative of his protest
.” Since he first took a knee last season in opposition to police violence against Black people, his resistance has been conflated as a protest against the US flag, which it is not.
Meanwhile, several NFL owners and the League’s commissioner have been ordered to depose all of their electronic communications with Kaepernick in an investigation of a grievance Kaep filed last month. The continued protests that have caught on since Kaepernick left the 49ers has been a thorn in the side of several teams. The conflict between Jerry Jones and Roger Goodell has gotten nasty in recent weeks, with other owners threatening Jones with penalties if he continues to aim his frustrations over the protests at the NFL commissioner
In any event, GQ got this right, although a former ESPN commentator apparently disagrees. Staying true to himself, Kaep is not directly quoted in the piece but rather, some of his close friends and allies like J. Cole and Ava DuVernay
lend theirs’ to support. While detractors are sure to hate the man and his movement, his impact on the social consciousness is unquestionable.
WATCH his behind the scenes to the shoot here