Does Kaepernick Deserve GQ’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ over JJ Watt???

Does Kaepernick Deserve GQ’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ over JJ Watt???

I recently stumbled on a post by Modern Man asking for thoughts on Colin Kaepernick being named ‘Citizen of the Year’ by GQ magazine.

One of the top comments was by a Jack Snyder who seemed rather animated by how JJ Watt raised 37 million in hurricane relief but the title of ‘Citizen of the Year’ goes to Kaepernick.

Yes, Colin Kaepernick may have become the most polarizing figure in all of sports entertainment in the past recent years.  His actions may have created the loss in ticket sales, football merchandise sales, ESPN ratings, and had probably turned many away from football costing the entire industry millions of dollars in jobs, funding, and entertainment.  However, despite the politics and the overall rising dislike of the sport and what Kaepernick had done to it, the post by Modern Man led me to question about any charities or donations that Kaepernick may have funded, possibly preserving his likeness and deeming him a practical choice as GQ’s ‘Citizen of the Year.’

In an article by 247Sports, it is mentioned that when Kaepernick’s protest began, he had pledged to donate 1 million dollars of his own personal salary to help organizations that assist in troubled communities.  Details of this pledge could be found on his website, Kaepernick7.  As of November 2017, it is stated on his website that $900,000 of that 1 million has been donated.  For a moment, I questioned why only $900,000 of the 1 million was donated and I don’t believe the reason was because he couldn’t donate it all at once, but more so because for the past year and a couple months, the ‘Kaepernick Foundation’ has been searching for which organizations to donate to.  The donations are comprised of several thousands for specific organizations.  For example: in June 2017, the foundation has given $25,000 to Dream in New York.  The money is split up by the foundation and is being used to provide 100 kids with baseball and softball supplies, funding college trips to 54 students, providing for food, overnight lodging, bus expenses, and providing laptops for 9th grade students.  In a recent Mother Jones article, it is stated that Kaepernick had donated $25,000 to a Chicago based grassroots group named Assata’s Daughters.  This donation had become a topic of controversy.  The Washington Times mentioned that Assata’s Daughters was a group honoring a convicted cop killer.  The April 2017 donation to Assata’s Daughters will be used for cop watching, a garden, a library, and teen workshops.  I assume that along with the $25,000 donation that Assata’s Daughters is also enjoying a bit of publicity.

I’m not here to create a bias for or against these organizations.  The organizations will do what they want and the public will think what they want.   However, I do want to see where this stands in comparison to JJ Watt.  An article by Business Insider states that Kaepernick’s original seven-year contract back in 2014 was to amount to 126 million dollars.  After his three seasons, Kaepernick was awarded a mere fraction of that money, $39.4 million.  1 million dollars of that 39.4 million was used for Kaepernick’s pledge.  Yes, Kaepernick has probably earned money through other outlets, but we’re using his contract as his primary source of income.  JJ Watt, the defensive end for the Houston Texans, signed a 6-year contract for a sum total of $100,005,425; less than the sum of Kaepernick, and also minus a year.  However, the 37 million dollars in hurricane relief was not funded primarily through JJ Watt’s income, but through a fundraiser that started on youcaring.com with an initial goal of $200,000 dollars.  It obviously surpassed that goal by a lot.

Now, this isn’t just about two football athletes and who should’ve won ‘Citizen of the Year.’  This is about GQ’s title of ‘Citizen of the Year.’  Condé Nast has outlined several of GQ’s charitable contributions.  GQ UK has given to charities such as ‘One for the Boys,’ ‘Help for Heroes,’ and ‘The Prince’s Trust.’  ‘One of the Boys’ is a charity dedicated to removing myths and changing the mindset in relation to male cancer.  GQ Korea, over 5 years, has made a 125 million KRW donation giving educational support to underprivileged children.  This is obviously not all the contributions that GQ has given to charities over its entire career, but it should give a sense as to what issues GQ, itself, focuses on.

People may state that the hurricane affects a large number of people and other people state that a large number of people are affected by troubled communities.  There are a lot of issues all over the world, but a big issue that affects everyone is this way of thinking that their issue is more important than another person’s.  It may be best to simply be more mindful of other people’s troubles and acknowledge that certain people are affected by different issues.  If communities close themselves off to the different perspectives of different people, they are no better than those who seek others to be more mindful of issues but they themselves are intolerant of others.

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