Jerseys and cleats that Colin Kaepernick wore during the 2016 NFL season where he protested the National Anthem are headed into the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
USA Today reports that renown sociologist Harry Edwards donated some of Kaepernick‘s game worn memorabilia to the museum and urged curators to work the items into the rotation as soon as possible. He previously helped the museum put together a “Game Changers” exhibit that celebrated the impact of African-American athletes. He says that Kaepernick deserves to be featured prominently because he is “this generation’s Muhammad Ali”
“I said, ‘Don’t wait 50 years to try to get some memorabilia and so forth on Kaepernick,’” Edwards told USA TODAY “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.’”
Kaepernick’s items are not on display yet, but the museum’s curator of sports, Damion Thomas, says that he expects to include the memorabilia in the next round of new material that will be rotated into the museum in one to two years.
Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to back-t0-back NFC Championships in 2012 and 2013 and a Super Bowl XLVII appearance, is currently a free agent. Many have speculated that NFL teams are avoiding signing him as a result of his protest. Fortunately, it has been reported that interest in signing him as a back-up has increased in recent weeks.