Colin Kaepernick has been named GQ Magazine's 2017 "Citizen of the Year."
GQ referred to Kaepernick as "the man who became the movement."
"But a simple act — kneeling during the national anthem — changed everything. It cost him his job. It also transformed Colin Kaepernick into a lightning rod and a powerful symbol of activism and resistance."
Kaepernick in 2016 became the first NFL player to take a knee during the national anthem before games. He said he was protesting police brutality and racial injustice.
Earlier this year, the issue was thrust back into the spotlight after President Trump attacked NFL players who kneel during the anthem. Following the president's comments, multiple players began taking a knee when the anthem played ahead of their games and several coaches spoke out against Trump's remarks.
Trump then called for the NFL to implement a rule requiring that players stand during the anthem, saying their actions were disrespectful to the flag and the country's soldiers.
Last month, Kaepernick signed a book deal, reportedly worth just more than $1 million.
Kaepernick also recently filed a grievance against NFL owners, accusing them of colluding to keep him out of the league in retaliation for his outspoken views on social justice.