Olympians, activists Tommie Smith, John Carlos show support of former SF 49er Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick appears with sports legends Tommie Smith and John Carlos on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (KGO-TV)

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was recently named "GQ Magazine's" Citizen of the Year, and the activists that some say paved the way for him to protest in the NFL are showing their support.
RELATED: GQ names former 49er Colin Kaepernick Citizen of the Year

Former San Jose State track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos sent shockwaves through the sporting world in the summer of 1968 at the Mexico City Olympic Games when they thrusted their fists in the air in an act of protest. The iconic image was burned into the memories of every sports fan and American citizen alive to see it.

No doubt, generations of NFL fans that look back on 2015-2017 will remember the iconic kneel of Kaepernick, which rippled through teams and even other professional leagues -- creating a dialogue and history.

The controversial NFL figure sent out a Tweet Wednesday afternoon expressing his "honor" and "admiration" for the Olympians who took a stand.

Kaepernick said he listened to Smith and Carlos tell their stories and said he identifies with their struggles.

On Instagram, the former 49er went into detail about the impact Smith and Carlos had on him. The images he posted show each of the olympians posing with the former NFL star wearing shirts with powerful slogans, Kaepernick's bearing big, white letters reading, "I KNOW MY RIGHTS" and both Smith and Carlos' shirts bearing the hashtag, "I'M WITH KAP."

He shared his full statement on Instagram: "l recently had the honor of sitting down and sharing time with Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
l have read about them, studied their public protest, admired their courage, and like many others, l have emulated them, raising my fist as both a symbol of celebrating my Blackness, and acknowledging our connected struggles. But this was different.

Hearing them tell their stories, sharing behind the scenes insights into the sacrifices that they willingly made, and the ostracization that was forced upon them...all that I could do was listen, take notes, and soak in the elders wisdom."

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Related Topics:
sportscolin kaepernickSan Francisco 49ersfootballnflblack lives matterracismprotestAfrican AmericansSan Francisco
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