This week’s edition of Time Magazine named former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to its list of the 100 Most Influential People.
The list breaks down the chosen 100 into five categories: Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, Titans, and Icons. Kaepernick appears in the Icons group.
In the Time Magazine profile, former SF 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh praised the controversial quarterback’s protest last year of the Star Spangled Banner, “when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem.”
Harbaugh made no mention of Kaepernick’s penchant for wearing socks denigrating law enforcement officers with pictures of pigs dressed in police uniforms.
The disgruntled quarterback’s biological mother Heidi Russo criticized her son for failing to stand for the National Anthem in a pre-season game against Green Bay last August when he was protesting “black oppression” in the United States.
“There are ways to make change w/o disrespecting & bringing shame to the very country & family who afforded you so many blessings,” she messaged on her Twitter account. The biracial Kaepernick was given up for adoption at birth and raised by white parents.
Colonel Allen B. West said to Kaepernick in his column following the Green Bay game, “First of all, let me clarify to you sir, you are a multi-millionaire “one-percenter” just because you can throw a ball and kiss your biceps. Men like Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Oscar Robertson, Ernie Davis, and Bernard King and Condredge Halloway of my alma mater were athletes who knew of oppression. You sir may certainly have the right to sit upon your “fourth point of contact” when the National Anthem is played but never forget, you live in a nation that has provided you the privilege to have that right.”
There were six athletes and one sports executive who made the “Time” 100 list. On the Icons list: Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and FC Barcelona soccer star Neymar. Titans: The Cavs’ LeBron James and Patriots QB Tom Brady. Leaders: Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein. Pioneers: UFC fighter Conor McGregor.