If anyone's life has drastically changed this year due to what's going on in the country, it's definitely Colin Kaepernick, who has gone from a superstar NFL player to full-time activist. He is currently the cover star of GQ's Citizen of the Year issue for Dec. 2017, and the written piece features a brief interview with J. Cole, who praises the athlete for his work in activism and the community.
The 2014 Forest Hills Drive rapper has become very close with Kaepernick over the years, and praises him in the magazine write-up for sacrificing his dream to play football in the NFL in order to speak out against racism and systematic oppression.
If you recall, the 30-year-old player stirred up major controversy last year when he took a kneel during the National Anthem as a means to protest police brutality against minorities in the U.S.
Cole discusses Kaepernick's journey from football stardom to activist with GQ, giving him credit for using his platform for something that was beyond his dreams.
"You're talking about a guy in his athletic prime, who's lived his whole life dreaming about playing football at a level that millions of kids dream to get to," Cole explains. "And in his first big season, he takes his team to within five yards of winning a Super Bowl. But then, 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' 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."
Colin's cover feature with GQ also contains quotes from other important public figures including director Ava DuVernay, NFL safety Eric Reid, his girlfriend and radio personality Nessa, iconic activist Harry Belafonte and more.