The former San Francisco 49er quarterback's social activism is now part of a new exhibit at the campus.
In the Nike ad seen around the world, Kaepernick encourages people to believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.
"Don't ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if they're crazy enough," he says in the two minute commercial.
VIDEO: Nike releases new commercial narrated by Colin Kaepernick
Kaep's controversial anthem protests that started two years ago are not the first time where sports and politics have intersected.
"It's important here to understand the interface of scholarship, and activism and athletics," said Dr. Harry Edwards, a renowned sports sociologist who helped create the Olympic Project for Human Rights. The movement called on black athletes to boycott the 1968 Olympic Games over racial injustices.
These are some of the artifacts on display at the new “The Power of Protest” exhibit at @SJSU. The exhibit highlights the role sports/athletes play in political and social activism. @abc7newsbayarea #abc7now pic.twitter.com/VqnZKCUutV— Carlos Saucedo (@Carlos_Saucedo) September 6, 2018
The movement is documented in the "The Power of Protest: Speed City and the Olympic Project for Human Rights" exhibit at San Jose State University, which highlights more than 100 historical collections from Dr. Edwards. Kaepernick's social activism is also featured in the exhibit.
"He will take his place alongside other athlete icons in the history of western civilization," said Edwards. "Not because of what he did on the field, but because of how he used the forum on the field to do so."
Edwards says the latest Nike commercial is a good business deal for the company and believes others will follow.
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"It's also the role of corporations in difficult times to step into the breach and remind us of who we are and what we stand for," added Edwards.
Whether Kaepernick plays again in the NFL is irrelevant according to Edwards who says he's already left his mark on and off the field.
The "The Power of Protest: Speed City and the Olympic Project for Human Rights" exhibit at SJSU's MLK Library opens Friday, September 7 and runs through Nov. 15.
Get the latest on former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick here.