Colin Kaepernick named GQ magazine’s citizen of the year

Colin Kaepernick
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stands in the bench area during the second half of the team's NFL football game against the New York Jets in Santa Clara, Calif. Kaepernick told CBS he’ll stand during the national anthem if given chance to play football in NFL again. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been named GQ’s magazine’s “Citizen of the Year” for his activism.

FILE – In this Oct. 2, 2016 file photo, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left, and safety Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif. The 49ers won’t be forcing their players to stand during the national anthem, safety Eric Reid said Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. Reid, the first player to join Colin Kaepernick in protest last season, said he had a conversation recently with 49(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Kaepernick began kneeling instead of stand during the national anthem last season to protest racial inequality and police brutality. The demonstration sparked an ongoing wave of NFL protests by players during the anthem that have been repeatedly denounced by President Donald Trump. Kaepernick parted ways with the 49ers in March and hasn’t been signed by another team.

Kaepernick says on Twitter he’s “honored” by the recognition.

The magazine includes comments from several of Kaepernick’s supporters and confidants. Rapper J. Cole says Kaepernick “sacrificed his dream” to stand for something.  Ninety-year-old singer and activist Harry Belafonte says seeing people like Kaepernick taking action is “the greatest reward” he could ask for.