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Trump, Mueller, Kaepernick among finalists for 'TIME' Person of Year

In a 2016 file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is seen during practice at the University of Central Florida.

RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL/TNS

By TOM SCHAD | USA Today | Published: December 4, 2017

Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick was announced Monday as one of 10 candidates for TIME's Person of the Year for 2017.

Each year, the magazine strives to identify "the person or group of people who most influenced the news during the past year, for better or for worse."

In alphabetical order, the 10 finalists selected by TIME editors this year are Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos; The Dreamers; "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins; North Korean leader Kim Jong Un; Kaepernick; the #MeToo movement; Special Counsel Robert Mueller; Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman; President Donald Trump; and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Trump was recognized by the magazine in 2016, and German chancellor Angela Merkel was its 2015 recipient. TIME will announce its latest "Person of the Year" on Wednesday.

Kaepernick was the first NFL player to take a knee during the national anthem last year, describing it as a means of protesting police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. He became a free agent in March and has yet to sign with an NFL team this season, prompting him to file a collusion grievance against NFL owners.

Kaepernick's initial protests have sparked a wave of related demonstrations -- particularly after Trump in September used an expletive to describe those who kneel during the anthem. Dozens of NFL players have either taken a knee, sat on the bench, raised a fist or otherwise protested before games this season. The Associated Press reported that 18 players demonstrated in some form or fashion during The Star-Spangled Banner on Sunday.

The protests have continued to draw the ire of Trump, who views them as unpatriotic and disrespectful to the military. He most recently called the NFL "weak and out of control" on Twitter in response to the continued demonstrations.

Kaepernick made a rare public appearance at an ACLU event Sunday and is expected to be in New York on Tuesday night to accept an award from Sports Illustrated.

tschad@usatoday.com

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