Colin Kaepernick named GQ's citizen of the year

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been named GQ magazine's Citizen of the Year for his activism and, as is often the case with Kaepernick, Twitter had lots to say about it.

Repudiated quarterback honoured for activism on and off the field

The GQ cover story on athlete and social activist Colin Kaepernick drew mixed reaction on social media. (Twitter/@GQMagazine)

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been named GQ magazine's Citizen of the Year for his activism and, as is often the case with Kaepernick, Twitter had lots to say about it.

Kaepernick began kneeling 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 U.S. President Donald Trump.

Despite being one of the top ranked quarterback's in the league, Kaepernick has not been enlisted to play by any NFL team since parting ways with the 49ers in March. In October, he filed a grievance under the latest collective bargaining agreement against NFL owners for collusion.

Kaepernick wrote on Twitter that he's "honoured" by GQ's recognition.

The magazine includes comments from several of Kaepernick's supporters and confidants. Rapper J. Cole said Kaepernick "sacrificed his dream" to stand for something, while 90-year-old singer and activist Harry Belafonte said seeing people like Kaepernick taking action is "the greatest reward" he could ask for. Other celebrity supporters shared their congratulations on Twitter, including rapper Common and fellow GQ honouree Kevin Durant.

To many on Twitter, the magazine's recognition of Kaepernick's silent protest is more than fitting. Over the past year, Kaepernick has reportedly donated close to $1 million US to several different charities and community organizations.

However, not everyone agrees with Kaepernick being honoured.

The spread features several photos which appear to pay homage to celebrated athlete and social activist Muhammad Ali.

In the article, Kaepernick said he agreed to collaborate with GQ on this project in an effort to "reclaim the narrative" of his protest" back to the movement towards racial justice and equality.

With files from The Associated Press