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Kaepernicking is a photo fad that started in early December 2012. It involves flexing and kissing one’s bicep in tribute to San Francisco 49ers’ National Football League (NFL) player Colin Kaepernick’s signature victory pose.
The @NFL_Memes Twitter feed posted a tweet on December 9th, 2012, which featured an image macro of Kaepernick kissing his bicep with the caption “Score a touchdown, kiss your tattoo! / #kaepernicking” (shown below). Within one month, the tweet garnered over 350 retweets and 125 favorites.
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) December 10, 2012
The same day @NFL_Memes tweeted the image macro, Kapernick retweeted it with the response “love my tats even if you don’t.” On December 13th, CBS Sports published an article comparing the Kaepernicking trend to “Tebowing”, another NFL photo fad inspired by Tim Tebow’s pre-game prayer pose. The article also reported that the hashtag #Kaepernicking trended on Twitter for several days after the @NFL_Memes tweet. On the following day, YouTuber Sarah Redden uploaded a video of young girl performing a “Kaepernicking” rap, in which she flexes and kisses her fake tattooed arm (shown below). The video received over 490,000 views and 750 comments within the first month.
On January 12th, 2013, Kaepernick was photographed by Hector Amezcua of the Associated Press while performing his signature bicep-kiss pose after scoring a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers (shown below). On January 14th, the photograph was highlighted by USA Today in an article detailing how Kaepernick’s pose had been previously associated with other athletes, including pro wrestlers, NBA players and countless bodybuilders.” On the following day, the viral content site BuzzFeed reported on the latest photo fad with a compilation of notable Kaepernicking photos.
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