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Controversial NFL Star Honoured

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He is probably one of the most controversial sporting figures of the modern era.

Now Colin Kaepernick, who is currently starring in a controversial ad campaign for Nike, wants to trademark an image of his face and hair.

Fans could be able to buy t-shirts, shampoo and even candles featuring a black and white image of the athlete and activist with a beard, mustache and afro hairstyle, which he has applied to trademark.

Kaepernick's company, Inked Flash, has applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to use the image in several categories such as clothing, toys, candy and mugs.

 

 His involvement with the Nike ad helped the campaign get more than $160 million worth of exposure, Inked Flash has also applied to use the image in "self-empowerment" workshops and on social activism websites, as well as in the production of TV shows and movies.

Kaepernick founded "Know Your Rights" camps to teach young people how to interact with police officers, with profits from some of his merchandise going toward the initiative. Kaepernick's company applied to trademark "I'm with Kap," which appeared on jerseys and t-shirts in September and sold out within hours.

You wouldn't have recognised the star at a ceremony in his honour in Harvard though.

 

Kaepernick called for further protests against racial injustice, after he received a prestigious award for his contributions to black history and culture.

The star, who has not played since the 2016 season, was the first player to kneel during the US national anthem.

Other players followed suit, leading to criticism from President Donald Trump.

"It is our duty to fight for them and we're going to continue to fight for them," said the 30-year-old.

Receiving the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from Harvard University, he added: "I feel it's not only my responsibility but all of our responsibilities that as people who are in positions of privilege, in positions of power, we continue to fight for them, uplift them, empower them. "If we don't, we become complicit in the problem."

Players who refused to stand during The Star-Spangled Banner have said the protests were against police brutality of African Americans and racial inequality.

Kaepernick has been without a team since he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017. He has filed a grievance against NFL team owners he claims conspired not to hire him because of his protests and has become the face of a new Nike advertising campaign.

Still an admirable stance though. Especially if you have to suffer the financial consequences.


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