Colin Kaepernick may be having trouble securing an NFL job after kicking off the waves of demonstrations at NFL games, but at least he got a bit of recognition from another well-known initialed entity. GQ named Colin Kaepernick Citizen Of The Year for 2017, a well-deserved honor. Kaepernick basically sacrificed his NFL career to speak up on police brutality and other issues dear to him, a fact not lost on anyone but the NFL owners getting sued for allegedly colluding against him. He may never get another NFL check, but he still finds it in his heart to donate to organizations like J. Cole’s Dreamville Foundation.
That’s why you can count J. Cole as one of the many who appreciates Kaepernick. The Dreamville artist, who advocated for a boycott of the NFL, told GQ about meeting Kaepernick and what the struggle of the former 49ers Super Bowl Quarterback (yeah, he was pretty good) means to him.
“Colin and I met years ago. I am — I was — a big 49ers fan,” Cole noted. “I met him during his breakout season. I actually went to the first game he really played in, against the Jets. I just happened to be at that game. It hit another level for me the second I learned he was taking a knee.”
Cole clarifies that it wasn’t just the demonstration, but the “clear, potent,” and “on point” answers he gave journalists about why he was demonstrating. Cole said he was caught pleasantly off guard by Kaepernick because he “just didn’t know when I met him that the person with the biggest balls in sports would be him.”
“Suddenly something that he’s been doing blindly for his whole life — standing for the national anthem — now feels uncomfortable. Why? Because now it feels phony! It feels like, Man, how can I stand for this thing when this country is not holding itself true to the principles it says it stands for,” Cole pondered.
What isn’t a question is that Kaepernick “sacrificed his dream,” like Cole said. Every week that a less accomplished quarterback gets signed before Kaepernick even gets a tryout proves that. That’s why GQ made a strong choice for their citizen of the year nod.