Colin Kaepernick's National Anthem Protest Jersey Donated to Smithsonian

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 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

A collection of Colin Kaepernick items—including a jersey he wore while protesting the national anthem last season—was donated to the Smithsonian last year.

According to Jarrett Bell of USA Today, the items are not yet on display, but Smithsonian curator of sports Damion Thomas said he expects them to be used in the next year or two.

The items were donated by sociologist Harry Edwards, who discussed the importance of displaying them: 

"I said, 'Don't wait 50 years to try to get some memorabilia and so forth on Kaepernick. Let me give you a game jersey, some shoes, a picture. ... And it should be put right there alongside Muhammad Ali. He's this generation's Ali.'"

Edwards specifically donated the memorabilia in conjunction with the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Kaepernick knelt during the playing of the national anthem throughout the 2016 season and explained the reasoning to 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."

The veteran signal-caller remains unsigned despite throwing for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions, and rushing for 468 yards and two touchdowns last season.

NFL Network's Michael Silver recently reported that the Seattle Seahawks have shown interest in potentially signing Kaepernick as a backup to Russell Wilson.