The magazine released the cover featuring the four "new American heroes," including Kaepernick, late night host Stephen Colbert, NBA star Kevin Durant and actress Gal Gadot.
The accompanying piece from GQ is titled, "Colin Kaepernick Will Not Be Silenced." Describing Kaepernick, the editors wrote:
He's been vilified by millions and locked out of the NFL—all because he took a knee to protest police brutality. But Colin Kaepernick's determined stand puts him in rare company in sports history: Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson—athletes who risked everything to make a difference.
Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL last month, accusing the owners of colluding to keep him out of the league following his controversial decision to kneel during the national anthem last season.
The former 49ers QB became a free agent after last season and remains unsigned. The issue of national anthem protests has remained an issue for the league after some players continued to kneel this season.
In September, President Trump called for NFL teams to "fire" any players who protest the "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Kaepernick first knelt for the anthem in the summer of 2016 before a preseason game, saying he was protesting racial injustice and violence by police officers against minorities.