Colin Kaepernick has been named as GQ's "Citizen of the Year" for 2017, earning a spot on the glossy magazine's front cover.
In a report "celebrating the man who became the movement," GQ noted that Kaepernick agreed to participate in the feature for the publication's December "Men of the Year" issue in an effort to "reclaim the narrative of his protest."
The feature comes four years after Kaepernick's first front cover appearance with GQ and, as the magazine noted, much has changed since then.
In 2013 the then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback was a star on the rise. Fast forward to 2017 and he has become a leader in protests of social injustice
"A simple act—kneeling during the national anthem—changed everything," GQ wrote. "It cost him his job. It also transformed Colin Kaepernick into a lightning rod and a powerful symbol of activism and resistance."
In 2016, Kaepernick made history as the first NFL player to take a knee during the national anthem before games as a form of protest to police brutality and racial injustice, The Hill noted.
This sparked a movement as other players followed suit, drawing praise and criticism.
President Donald Trump slammed players who took a knee during the anthem, which prompted a fresh wave of protest among players.
Things heated up as coaches discussed whether the act was acceptable and Trump called for the NFL to enforce a rule making it mandatory for players to stand during the national anthem.
Meanwhile, Kaepernick, who has battled to find work since, filed a federal lawsuit against the NFL, stating that the league had colluded in not signing him, Bleacher Report noted.
Speaking to GQ about Kaepernick, Ameer Hasan Loggins, a writer and U.C. Berkeley academic, said, "The irony now is that the NFL is trying to make him voiceless because he made himself a voice for the voiceless."
Loggins added that this was a reason to die on the sword defending what Kaepernick has done.
"Because he did it for the people."
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