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(Via ESPN) – In a season filled with controversy surrounding San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s protest of racial inequality in the United States, Kaepernick apparently inspired many of his teammates.

When the 49ers announced their team awards Friday afternoon, Kaepernick was the recipient of the Len Eshmont Award, given to the 49er who “best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont, an original member of the 1946 49ers team.” The award, which was established after Eshmont died in 1957, is considered the most prestigious honor the players vote on.

After sitting down for the national anthem before a preseason game, Kaepernick has knelt during the anthem for the entire season. He has been joined most of the time by safety Eric Reid and outside linebacker Eli Harold. Kaepernick took over the starting quarterback job in Week 6 against Buffalo and has remained in that position since.

For his part, Kaepernick said recently that having the support of teammates such as Harold and Reid has been helpful.

“It’s very impactful, and I think they are people who have very strong character,” Kaepernick said. “And to have the ability to really recognize what’s going on, how it not only affects them, but it affects their families and affects other people that look like them, is something that’s very powerful — and I’m very happy to have teammates like that, that have that type of character, that have those type of ethics and humanity.”

Get the rest of this story at ESPN.

PHOTO: Colin Kaepernick Official Website

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