The same day Colin Kaepernick was named in a new poll that he is the most hated player in the NFL, TIME Magazine announced he will be on the cover of its upcoming issue.
TIME tweeted a video previewing the issue, starting with a waving American Flag and the Star Spangled Banner playing in the background. It dissolved to a photo of a kneeling Kaepernick.
The cover is titled "The Perilous Fight: National anthem protests led by Colin Kaepernick are fueling a debate about privilege, pride, and patriotism."
Meanwhile, ESPN's Darren Rovell reports a survey of 1,100 Americans by E-Poll Marketing Research found 29 percent said Kaepernick was "disliked a lot." That's the most out of the more than 350 players who the population was asked about.
That's a distinct difference from two years ago, the last time the poll was taken, when Kaepernick was "disliked a lot" by only six percent of Americans. At that time, Kaepernick was coming off an NFC Championship loss to the Seahawks and was still considered a major star in the league.
He's now a backup in San Francisco.
Kaepernick was the spark that began protests by both professional and amateur athletes across the U.S. during the playing of the national anthem. Kaepernick's protest against social and racial injustice began with him sitting during the anthem at 49ers preseason games. At the suggestion of teammate Eric Reid, he began kneeling.
Other athletes have joined in, with some kneeling, some holding their fist up high, and some locking arms, including the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks host the 49ers Sunday.
Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe has also knelt during the anthem, including at the U.S. Women's National Team match against Thailand. U.S. Soccer said it disagreed with Rapinoe's decision and it expects players to stand during the anthem.
Those who have criticized athletes for the protest say it's disrespectful to the flag and veterans. Supporters say it's forcing a conversation about racial and social injustice in America.
But some fear the controversy is causing the message behind the protest to get lost. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman spoke about it during his weekly press conference Wednesday in the wake of two fatal police shootings in North Carolina and Oklahoma.
"People are missing the point. The reason these guys are kneeling, the reason we're locking arms is to bring people together to make people aware that this is not right. It's not right for people to get killed in the street," said Sherman.
Copyright 2016 KING