Colin Kaepernick Wins Award for 'Inspirational and Courageous Play' From 49ers Teammates

Colin Kaepernick has been given the Len Eshmont Award, which is voted on by players on the San Francisco 49ers.

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Complex Original

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Every year, the San Francisco 49ers vote for the player on their team who should receive the Len Eshmont Award. The honor is meant to commemorate Eshmont's "inspirational and courageous play," according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. Previous recipients of the award include Niners greats like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Steve Young. This year, the award is being given to Colin Kaepernick

In late August, Kaepernick was seen sitting down during the playing of the national anthem prior to a 49ers' preseason game because he couldn't "stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color." His stance sparked a lengthy discussion about race relations. “I think what Kap did will be talked about for years to come—an NFL player using his platform for what he wanted to use it for,” Niners safety and Kaep's teammate Antoine Bethea said on the 49ers Insider Podcast.

Throughout the season, Kaepernick has gone above and beyond, putting his words into action by pledging $1 million towards charities involved in supporting racial equality, and going into the community to help educate the youth. Along the way, Kaep has faced plenty of adversity and criticism, but he has continued to courageously challenge those opposed to his position while inspiring others to join in his movement. 

In addition to being a member of the 49ers during their inaugural season in 1946, Len Eshmont scored the first touchdown in Niners history. Following a four-year tenure with the 49ers, Eshmont went on to coach at Navy and Virginia. He died in 1957 of a liver ailment. 

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