Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James Named to Time's 100 Most Influential People List

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2017

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter of their NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James were among the athletes named to Time's list of the world's most influential people Thursday.

Joining the free-agent quarterback and Cleveland Cavaliers superstar on the list are New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles and Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein.

Kaepernick made headlines in 2016 for his decision to kneel during the playing of the national anthem out of protest.

The former San Francisco 49ers signal-caller attempted to bring awareness to unfair treatment of minorities with his demonstration, as he told NFL.com's Steve Wyche: "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

Despite enjoying a strong statistical season with 16 touchdown passes, two rushing touchdowns and just four interceptions, the veteran remains unsigned.

LeBron had a banner year for the Cavs as he finally brought an NBA championship to his home area of Cleveland with a come-from-behind victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Brady won his fifth Super Bowl and fourth Super Bowl MVP award, leading the Pats to the biggest comeback win in Super Bowl history as they erased a 28-3 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime.

Biles was among the biggest breakout stars at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, winning four gold medals and one bronze. She prevailed in the all-around competition and also led the United States to team gold.

Epstein didn't perform on the field, but he built a Cubs team that ended a 108-year drought by winning the World Series in a seven-game classic over the Cleveland Indians.