Colin Kaepernick Citizen of the Year GQ Cover
via GQ

While Colin Kaepernick remains a free agent midway through the current NFL season, he’s being praised off the field with the cover of GQ, who names him “Citizen of the Year”.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback lands the cover, following a year in which he became controversial and polarizing figure since deciding to protest during the national anthem by kneeling.

In the story, titled “Colin Kaepernick Will Not Be Silenced”, he is not quoted, but GQ says that he agreed to cover because “he wants to reclaim the narrative of his protest.”

Depsite not including an interview, the story features perspectives from people that GQ says are Kaepernick’s “closest confidants.”

“Colin also made it clear to us that he intended to remain silent,” GQ writes. “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. It has even provoked the ire and ill temper of Donald Trump.”

49ers linebacker Eric Reid, who continues to kneel during the national anthem this season, is quoted in the story. “My goal this year has been to get the narrative back on track,” Reid said. “We started having communications with the NFL, and they said they’re going to help us make progress on these issues. But the next step is to get Colin back in the NFL. Because he’s the one that started this. I think we’re finally getting where me and Colin envision this going. Now it’s time for him to get back in the league.”

Kaepernick opened out of his contract with the 49ers in March. So far, no team has signed him.

In October, the free agent’s attorney filed a grievance that NFL owners colluded against him… because of the protests.

See the full GQ story on Kaepernick on GQ.com.