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In this Dec. 24, 2016, file photo San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick talks during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Rick Scuteri

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been named GQ magazine's "Citizen of the Year" for his activism.

Kaepernick began kneeling instead of standing during the national anthem last season to protest racial inequality and police brutality. The demonstration sparked a wave of NFL protests by players during the anthem that repeatedly have been denounced by President Donald Trump. Kaepernick parted ways with the San Francisco 49ers in March and hasn't been signed by another team.

Kaepernick says on Twitter he's "honoured" by the recognition.

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The magazine 's story includes comments from several of Kaepernick's supporters and confidants. Rapper J. Cole says Kaepernick "sacrificed his dream" to stand for something. Ninety-year-old singer and activist Harry Belafonte says seeing people like Kaepernick taking action is "the greatest reward" he could ask for.

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