According to GQ magazine, Kaepernick is "the man who became the movement."
"Much has changed in the four years since Colin Kaepernick was last on the cover of GQ. Back then he was a rippling superhero of a quarterback on the rise," the magazine wrote.
"But a simple act — kneeling during the national anthem — changed everything. It cost him his job. It also transformed Colin Kaepernick into a lightning rod and a powerful symbol of activism and resistance."
Kaepernick tweeted Monday morning that he was "honored" to be recognized by GQ Others aren't so excited. While some have applauded Kaepernick's new title on Twitter commending his courageous protest, there has also been criticism of GQ's decision, mostly from people insisting that a worthy "citizen of the year" would respect the flag.
— Luckey-strikes (@lucman28) November 13, 2017
In a controversial tweet earlier this year, US President Donald Trump criticized the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem, writing: "[the] NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!"
— Costas Koufogazos (@CKouf) November 13, 2017
Retired NFL coach and football commentator Tony Dungy responded to Trump's tweet by suggesting that the president "ought to invite some of these young men to the White House to hear their concerns."
— BLACK CONSERVATIVE (@blackrepublican) November 13, 2017
Kaepernick filed a grievance against NFL owners last month, claiming that they colluded to keep him out of the league because he brought up his views on racial injustice and police brutality against African-Americans.
— COMMON (@common) November 13, 2017
Kaepernick also signed a book deal last month with One World, an imprint of Random House, that is reportedly worth more than $1 million.
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) November 13, 2017
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) November 13, 2017