Colin Kaepernick graces the December 2017 issue of GQ as the publication’s “Citizen of the Year,” and for his appearance, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback traveled to Harlem, USA, to participate in a stunning photoshoot with a wardrobe that brings a new sense of life and energy to his protest. Although he decided to let his past, present, and future actions speak for himself, several of his peers and mentors (Ava DuVernary, Harry Belafonte, Tamika Mallory) shared their thoughts on the 30-year-old’s fight for equality.
Like Kaepernick, J. Cole remains vocal on police brutality and racial inequality, even taking a stance against the political and monetarily corrupt federal prison system. The Fayetteville native previously expressed his support for Kaep in a stirring Twitter thread and continued his backing within GQ’s pages.
The “No Role Modelz” rapper pointed out the fact that Kaepernick’s lifelong dream was to play in the NFL, and how he changed the course of the 49ers by landing at Super Bowl XLVII, preceding a light switch that went off in Kaepernick’s head that there’s something bigger at play.
“And suddenly something that he’s been doing blindly for his whole life – standing for the national anthem – now feels uncomfortable,” Cole wrote. “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? I feel like we’re lying. And look what happens to him. Had he not done that, this guy would be making millions of dollars right now. Period, point blank. And more important than the money, he was living his dream. He sacrificed his dream.”
Since Kaepernick has remained a free agent, his cause for justice off the field has benefited various groups across the nation through generous donations. His attorney, Mark Geragos, is also hopeful that Kaepernick will re-enter the league soon.