A lot has taken place since Colin Kaepernick last graced the cover of GQ Magazine four years ago. Then he was one of the best football players; a rising quarterback, and now he’s the Citizen of the Year; and not playing football.
Although Kap has been silent about his protest since taking that kneel during the National Anthem. In the magazine’s December issue titled Colin Kaepernick Will Not Be Silenced he discusses his upcoming project; a wide series of interviews with friends and supporters. Rapper J. Cole, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and legendary artist Harry Belafonte. According to GQ they will provide insight into Colin’s world right now, and explain why there’s more work to be done. The project will also explore Kaepernick’s actions.
Belafonte: In my 90th year of life, to see people like Colin Kaepernick having gotten the message and carrying the cause forward is the greatest reward I could ask for. Colin is a remarkable young man. The fact that he spoke out on police brutality against young black men—I thought it was absolutely admirable.
Nessa (his girlfriend): I’m very fortunate that I have Colin next to me. It’s everything. We love each other, we care for each other, and we have to remind each other that, hey, we’re doing our part, we’re trying to make a difference.
Linda Sarsour: I always tell Colin: “You are an American hero. You may not feel like a hero right now, but one day, people will realize the sacrifices that you made for so many others.” There might even be a day when we’ll be walking down Colin Kaepernick Boulevard and people will remember what Colin Kaepernick did, just like we remember Muhammad Ali. And I truly believe that in my heart.
Tamika Mallory: Some people want to argue, “But the national anthem may not be a place for this because this is about all of us as Americans, the American dream, and American freedom.” And then I have to give them the history of the third verse that Francis Scott Key wrote, which refers directly to us as slaves, and being unable to escape the wrath of slave owners. When I bring that to them, they begin to understand.
J. Cole: at some point in time, he becomes conscious about what’s happening in the world. And 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? I feel like we’re lying.
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