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Colin Kaepernick's teammates vote to give him team's most prestigious award

Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers kneels for the National Anthem before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Getty Images/Ezra Shaw)

The San Francisco 49ers' most outstanding player is the one who refused to stand up, according quarterback Colin Kaepernick's teammates.

The team voted Kaepernick, who infamously kneels during the playing of the National Anthem before games, to receive the Len Eshmont Award, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

The award is the team's most prestigious honor that is given to the 49ers' most "inspirational and courageous" player in the spirit of Len Eshmont, an original member of the team.

Kaepernick gained national attention when he refused to stand for the National Anthem as he said he did not want to pay tribute to a flag that represents a country "that oppresses black people and people of color."

Since his initial protest, Kaepernick has been joined by some athletes and criticized by others.

The four previous recipients of the Len Eshmont Award are: wide receiver Anquan Boldin, running back Frank Gore, inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman and defensive tackle Justin Smith.

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