GQ magazine has announced its Citizen of the Year:
Much has changed in the four years since Colin Kaepernick was last on the cover of GQ. Back then he was a rippling superhero of a quarterback on the rise. 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.
Colin Kaepernick? Really?
GQ headlines their piece thus:
Celebrating the man who became a movement
Some movement you have there, Colin:
Just three NFL players kneel during the National Anthem as the league honors the military during Veterans Day weekend
Seems whatever movement he started has fizzled out right along with those TV ratings…
Also included in GQ‘s Citizen of the Year issue is another ‘activist’, Linda Sarsour. If you aren’t familiar with her, here’s a taste of a couple of her strongly held beliefs:
- On Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim, who campaigns against female genital mutilation (FGM), honor killings and child marriages: “I wish I could take [her] vagina away. [She] don’t deserve to be a women”
- She has argued that there is no place for Zionists in arguing for women’s rights – you just can’t be a feminist in her eyes if you support Israel
- Anti-Semitism is not like racism because it is not systemic (the 20th century would like a word…and the 19th century…and the 18th century, too…)
- Zionism is creepy
And, of course, she doesn’t just metaphorically embrace terrorists – she embraces them publicly, physically, and literally.
What does it say about GQ that the sort of people that it includes in its Citizen of the Year issue are the likes of Kaepernick and Sarsour? I mean, it’s not like Time‘s Person of the Year who gets the nod not for their morality or some position of positive influence – they are just the person with the most impact on the year, at least as judged by the editors. But Citizen of the Year implies a value judgement on the part of the GQ editorial staff…and this is who they came up with?
Of course, the editors are entitled to their opinion and they’ll probably sell a few copies in certain quarters after putting Colin on the cover. But I can’t for the life of me figure out how Kaepernick is anyone’s Citizen of the Year, or how including Sarsour as an example of an activist to respect makes sense.