Kaepernick’s jersey, shoes donated to Smithsonian Museum of African American History

Published 4:50 pm, Friday, May 19, 2017

Activist and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will soon take his place in history thanks to a sociologist named Harry Edwards, according to USA Today.

Edwards is lending a hand with the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s “game-changers exhibit” which will focus on the impact that famed sports figures make in civil discourse around race issues. 

One such subject, as Edwards and the museum director Lonnie Bunch decided, would be Colin Kaepernick. Late last year, around the time the museum opened, Edwards donated some Kaepernick memorabilia to the museum to display.

“I said, ‘Don’t wait 50 years to try to get some memorabilia and so forth on Kaepernick,'” Edwards told USA TODAY Sports. ” ‘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.'”

Related: Kaepernick donates custom-made suits in front of a New York parole office
Related: Colin Kaepernick donates $50K to Meals on Wheels after Trump criticism

Kaepernick famously made headlines and ignited a national debate when he first sat and later kneeled during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before 2016-2017 49ers preseason and season games. At the time, Kaepernick said his protest was meant to draw attention to racial inequalities and oppression in the United States.

“There’s a lot of racism disguised as patriotism in this country,” he said in September. “And people don’t like to address that. And they don’t like to address what the root of this protest is.”

The Kaepernick items won’t be on display immediately. The museum’s sports curator, Damon Thomas, says new items for viewing are rotated into exhibits every one to two years.

Alyssa Pereira is an SFGATE staff writer. Email her at apereira@sfchronicle.com or find her on Twitter at @alyspereira.

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