When Turlock, California’s Pitman High School was coming up with a list for its inaugural athletic hall of fame class, it probably didn’t take long before they got to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Twelve years after he graduated from Pitman, five years after he led the San Francisco 49ers to within inches of a Super Bowl title and one year after GQ named him its Citizen of the Year for his highly publicized social activism, Kaepernick will headline his prep alma mater’s first hall of fame class.
Kaepernick is expected to attend the ceremony along with eight other inductees on Nov. 3.
A 2006 graduate of Pitman, Kaepernick excelled at prep baseball and basketball in addition to football, earning All-State nominations in all three sports. He is the second player from Northern California’s Stanislaus County to ever appear in a Super Bowl, per the school’s announcement.
In the announcement, the school steered clear of Kaepernick’s controversial 2016 decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest of social injustice and racial inequality. He is currently waging a collusion lawsuit against the NFL that alleges he was blackballed by all 30 teams for his actions.
Last week, Nike made Kaepernick the face of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” advertising campaign, which helped ensure his name and cause continued to spark national conversation. As promised, the former Niners quarterback has donated more than $1 million of his earnings to social justice charities.
“Selma” director Ava DuVernay said in June that she was developing a TV comedy series based on Kaepernick’s high school experience that was “‘Friday Night Lights’ meets ‘Everybody Hates Chris.'”
President Donald Trump has led the charge among those who believe Kaepernick is protesting America, its flag and the U.S. military. There are some in Kaepernick’s hometown who oppose the way he has pursued justice and equality, and hopefully this ceremony helps mend some of those faces.
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