After a season full of controversy, scrutiny and stalwart protest, quarterback Colin Kaepernick won the 49ers’ Len Eshmont award, as voted on by his teammates.
The team’s website describes the award as the 49ers’ “most prestigious annual honor, has been given each year to the 49ers player who best exemplifies the ‘inspirational and courageous play’ of Len Eshmont.”
Kaepernick’s award would seem to quash any doubt regarding his support within the locker room, after he opted to kneel during the national anthem all season in protest of police brutality and racial inequalities in the United States. He was panned by many prominent figures despite repeatedly stating he was not intending to disrespect the military with his actions. He was joined by teammates Eric Reid and Eli Harold.
Kaepernick also recovered from several injuries to regain his starting job, making every start since Week 6.
Eshmont was a member of the original 49ers squad in 1946, and scored the first touchdown in team history. He died in 1957 of Hepatitis, after which the award was created.