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Sports Illustrated’s new cover honors sports protests — but leaves out the man who started it all

Where is Colin Kaepernick?

Sports Illustrated’s latest cover sends a clear signal to President Donald Trump: The country may be divided over you, but the world of sports is not.

The cover is a reference to Trump’s demand that the NFL fire anyone who is protesting during the National Anthem. Since the president’s initial tweet on Friday, hundreds of athletes have taken the knee during the National Anthem, stayed behind in their locker rooms as it goes on, locked arms, and spoken out against Trump in media.

But the cover has a major omission: It does not include Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL player who began the protests to speak out against systemic racism and police brutality. Kaepernick’s initial protests are the big reason these demonstrations began and why they drew Trump’s attention — yet he gets no credit on Sports Illustrated’s cover. (Sports Illustrated did not return a request for comment about the cover.)

This could show the evolution of the protests. As the demonstrations have grown in response to Kaepernick taking a knee during the National Anthem, his original message about police and systemic racism has gotten lost. (Trump, for one, has outright dismissed that the protests are about race.) Instead, they’ve become more about athletes’ right to stand up to those who try to silence them, including the president.

For more on the ongoing feud between Trump and the NFL, read Vox’s explainer.