Colin Kaepernick and his supporters have been in the headlines for several weeks, as some believe the one-time Super Bowl quarterback remains unsigned because of reasons beyond his skill level.
Despite not having a job, the national anthem protests Kaepernick launched last year have picked up steam with the another NFL preseason underway. Players such as Malcolm Jenkins of the Eagles and Marshawn Lynch of the Raiders have picked up where Kaepernick left off.
Kaepernick is making news again — and not because of his performance in a game — with the announcement that he will be the focus of an exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Colin Kaepernick will have his own exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture pic.twitter.com/yna4pnxkiU
— Black To Live (@BlackToLive) August 16, 2017
The museum has been collecting jerseys worn by Kaepernick during his national anthem protests, as well as other clothing items.
Sociologist and author Harry Edwards, which helped the museum develop the original exhibits that honor the impact of African-American sports figures on society, had suggested the museum honor Kaepernick’s efforts and donated some items to get it started.
“Don’t wait 50 years to try to get some memorabilia and so forth on Kaepernick,” Edwards told USA Today. “Let me give you a game jersey, some shoes, a picture… and it should be put right there alongside Muhammad Ali. He’s this generation’s Ali.”
Kaepernick has pledged a $1 million donation to charity, earning him the Len Eshmont Award for his “inspirational and courageous play” last season with the 49ers.
Since the 49ers decided not to re-sign Kaepernick after last season, he has generated interest from only a handful of NFL teams.
The Baltimore Ravens flirted with the idea of signing Kaepernick as a backup to Joe Flacco.
A potential new option for Kaepernick would be the Jacksonville Jaguars, as fans and players have shown frustration with quarterback Blake Bortles.
Supporters of Kaepernick believe NFL owners are reluctant to sign the 29-year-old quarterback because of his refusal to stand for the national anthem.
Whether he plays another down in the NFL or not, his protests over what he perceives as social injustice have sent shock waves throughout the NFL and the country.
The Kaepernick items are not yet on display at the museum, but Damion Thomas, the museum’s curator of sports, said he expects “new material in their collection will be rotated into exhibits in one to two years.