Since being frozen out of the NFL this season for staging silent protests during the singing of the National Anthem, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refuses to go gently into that good night. Though it seems his professional football career has stalled, Kaepernick is still making power moves away from the gridiron.
Last month, it was announced that he signed a $1 million book deal with Random House imprint, One World. Neither Kaepernick nor One World have commented on what the book will cover, but many speculate the events of the last two years, including how a veteran advised him to take a knee— as opposed to sitting during the anthem— to honor oppressed people killed by the gross systemic inequities plaguing our society will be covered. In addition to his experiences in the NFL, some believe Kaepernick will also talk about his background and family history as he was raised by an adoptive parents from birth and has had little contact with his birth parents. His birth mother has drawn criticism for comments she made about Kaepernick’s stance on social justice issues.
On the decision to include Kaepernick as the “Citizen of the Year” on the cover, GQ’s Editorial Board writes:
“When we began discussing this GQ cover with Colin earlier this fall, he told us the reason he wanted to participate 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 Colin also made it clear to us that he intended to remain silent. As his public identity has begun to shift from football star to embattled activist, he has grown wise to the power of his silence. It has helped his story go around the world.”
Including Kaepernick was a savvy decision as news of the article began trending within minutes of publication and has remained a top Twitter trend. The Grand Polemarch of Kaepernick’s fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc., also issued an official statement:
The December 2017 cover is Kaepernick’s second for the magazine giant. GQ feature Colin in 2013 because “he was one of the best football players in the world.” Kaepernick is still a free agent and at this time is not a player for any team in the NFL.