On Monday, GQ magazine announced its “Citizen of the Year:” Colin Kaepernick. While Kaepernick remains without a team, his act of protest in kneeling for the national anthem has continued, and sparked a Veterans Day boycott of the NFL this past weekend. Furthermore, GQ also reported that Kaepernick would team up with Muslim activist Linda Sarsour, who supports a political enshrinement of sharia law and declared a “jihad” against President Donald Trump.
“A simple act—kneeling during the national anthem—changed everything. It cost [Kaepernick] his job. It also transformed Colin Kaepernick into a lightning rod and a powerful symbol of activism and resistance,” the GQ editors wrote. The magazine dubbed Kaepernick “the man who became a movement.”
The football star also launched a project with GQ to “reclaim the narrative of his protest.” Kaepernick helped the magazine organize a ten-person team “to speak on the subjects of activism, protest, and equality, and to offer some rare insights into Colin Kaepernick himself.”
Linda Sarsour, a prominent Muslim activist who helped organize the Women’s March in January, was featured on that list of ten activists.
GQ identified Sarsour as an “activist, co-organizer of the Women’s March on Washington, former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.” The magazine also published brief comments from her about the nature of activism and Colin Kaepernick.
“I always tell Colin: ‘You are an American hero. You may not feel like a hero right now, but one day, people will realize the sacrifices that you made for so many others,'” Sarsour said. “There might even be a day when we’ll be walking down Colin Kaepernick Boulevard and people will remember what Colin Kaepernick did, just like we remember Muhammad Ali. And I truly believe that in my heart.”
Sarsour may not be the best choice of an advocate for Kaepernick, however. The national anthem protests remain controversial, with more than 250,000 people joining a Facebook group dedicated to boycotting the NFL after the league refused to condemn the protests this past weekend.
Many football players who previously knelt decided to stand on Sunday, honoring veterans after Veterans Day. Perhaps this decision helps explain the slight uptick in attendance to actual games on Sunday — but TV ratings for the games may still suffer.
In this troubled environment, Kaepernick partnering with Sarsour may not be a good idea. The Muslim activist helped to organize the Women’s March, but she has also made a few dangerously misogynistic statements.
Sarsour has supported a political enshrinement of sharia (Islamic religious law) and has ties to the terrorist organization Hamas (which she has refused to condemn). She once tweeted that Brigitte Gabriel and Ayaan Hirsi Ali “don’t deserve to be women” and should have their vaginas taken away — and she lectures Westerners about women’s rights…
This past July, Sarsour called for Muslims to engage in a “jihad” against President Trump. “I hope that we — when we stand up to those who oppress our communities — that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad,” she said.
The Muslim activist added, “If you sit back idly in the face of oppression, if you maintain the current status quo that not only oppresses Muslims but oppresses black people inside our community and outside our community, undocumented people, other minority groups and oppressed groups, then you — my dear sisters and brothers — are then identified with the oppressor.”
Sarsour mentioned “jihad” in the speech numerous times, quoting Mohammed in saying the best form of “jihad or struggle” is “a word of truth in front of a tyrant ruler or leader, that is the best form of jihad.”
In siding with Sarsour, Kaepernick is joining her vision of “jihad” against Donald Trump. GQ may find that an admirable stance, but it is likely to push even more Americans away from the national anthem protests, and perhaps the NFL itself.