Home Sports Colin Kaepernick among Time’s top 100, as Jim Harbaugh explains

Colin Kaepernick among Time’s top 100, as Jim Harbaugh explains

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			Colin Kaepernick among Time’s top 100, as Jim Harbaugh explains

Colin Kaepernick is one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, even if he has yet to find one NFL suitor since leaving the 49ers nearly two months ago.

Who better than to explain Kaepernick’s influence than Jim Harbaugh, the ex-49ers and current Michigan coach who gave Kaepernick his break in 2012. Harbaugh penned a testimonial on Kaepernick for Time’s series.

“Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem,” wrote Harbaugh, who was among the early opponents of Kaepernick’s protest method. “At times in our nation’s history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

“Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.

“I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

“How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.”

Kaepernick is listed among the “Icons” group in Time’s top-100 list, along with two other athletes: gymnast Simone Biles and soccer player Neymar. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James are part of the “Titans” category, while President Trump is among the “Leaders” along with Chicago Cubs Theo Epstein.

Kaepernick made the cover of Time’s Oct. 3 issue, in which he is pictured kneeling.

Kaepernick has been a free agent since opting out of his contract March 3. He would have otherwise been released from the 49ers, who faced paying him $14.5 million in base salary.

Kaepernick sparked an equal-rights movement throughout the NFL and beyond last season by initially sitting out and subsequently kneeling during the national anthem before games. He has contributed $600,000 as part of his Million Dollar Pledge to help community programs.

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