In 2016, following his on-field protest about police officers killing unarmed Black Americans, Colin Kaepernick topped the list for most jersey sales in the NFL. This season, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback's merchandise still ranks among the highest-selling, despite the fact that he's no longer in the league. Now, his jersey is becoming part of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
His jersey will be displayed in an exhibit titled “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” and will be part of a section that examines how sports has influenced fashion.
“When the whole Kaepernick thing happened last year, it was noted by the NFL that his jersey was outpacing the sales of [New England Patriots quarterback] Tom Brady’s jersey,” Stephanie Kramer, a research assistant at the museum, told Quartz. “To us, that seemed to us to indicate a sea change in what the jersey represents for people. Not necessarily your hero, good-looking quarterback, but perhaps somebody who was using his sports prowess and celebrity to say something socially and politically. We thought that made a really important statement about what the sports jersey could mean to its wearer.”
The exhibit opens at the MoMA on October 1 and will be on display through January 2018.