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Kaepernick Among Finalists For Time's 'Person Of The Year'

Colin Kaepernick, a free-agent quarterback and one of the most controversial NFL players in recent memory, has been shortlisted as one of 10 candidates for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year award in 2017.

According to USA Today, Mr. Kaepernick, who until recently played for the San Francisco 49ers, ignited a national debate when he began kneeling while the anthem played. When asked why he was disrespecting the national anthem, Mr. Kaepernick said that he was trying to draw attention to institutionalized violence against African Americans, particularly cases of racial inequality and police brutality.

Alongside Mr. Kaepernick, Time Magazine also revealed that President Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un, Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and the broad #MeToo Movement were also candidates for the prestigious title.

Last year, the title went to President Trump and the year before was claimed by Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany and most vocal voice during the European Migrant Crisis. This year, President Trump was criticized for claiming that Time Magazine had already asked him to be Person of the Year, prompting him to refuse because of his busy schedule.

Since Mr. Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem, he has been unsigned by any teams in the NFL, prompting the quarterback to file a grievance for collusion against the owners of NFL teams.

Although Mr. Kaepernick’s actions sparked several similar protests and received a small amount of media attention, it wasn’t until President Trump referred to him and other protestors as “sons of bi***es" that the protest began to become a movement.

Suddenly, entire teams were kneeling in protest and President Trump – who has continued making inflammatory remarks about the movement’s foundation – made a slew of new enemies. When NFL players refused to follow his demands to stand, Trump began attacking the sport’s ratings. In one particularly controversial speech, the president launched an all-out assault on both the moral and entertainment quality of modern NFL, saying:

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!' You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, 'That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.' And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.

But you know what’s hurting the game more than that? When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem. The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium, I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore, anyway.”

Despite the president’s attack, the anthem protests have proven to be a long-term commitment, with scores of players still sitting out and standing in solidarity with teammates who kneel.

Source: USA Today, Axios
Photo: YouTube

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