Colin Kaepernick was given the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at last night's 2017 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Awards. After making headlines and inspiring others to follow in his lead with his refusal to stand for the national anthem in protest against police brutality, Kaepernick was recently recognized by GQ as Citizen of the Year and was awarded ACLU's honor for Courageous Advocate earlier this week.
She added: "Colin took action with no fear of outcome or repercussion, only hope to change the world for the better; to change perception; to change the way we treat each other, especially people of color".
She added that it was necessary to recognize "former athletes and sports figures who embody the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy as vehicles for changing the world". To change perception, to change the way we treat each other.
The mother-of-three said she was "proud and humbled" to present the award to Kaepernick for his courage to open "an important conversation about race in the country".
"I say this as a person who receives credit for using my platform to protest systemic oppression, racialized injustice and the dire consequences of anti-blackness in America", Kaepernick said at SI's 2017 Sportsperson of the Year ceremony (via Sports Illustrated).
Well said. In case you forgot, the football stud sparked national debate a year ago when he began kneeling during the national anthem in an attempt to protest racial inequality and police brutality in the U.S. Although many have voiced their support for Colin, the American athlete has been met with quite a bit of criticism too.
Kaepernick's protests sparked a social firestorm last National Football League season that carried over into this season, especially as President Donald Trump criticized players who continued the protests as the former Niners QB remained a free agent, despite having a better resume than many quarterbacks on National Football League rosters. Multiple long-term injuries to quarterbacks have resulted in a number of quarterbacks with less impressive NFL resumes than Kaepernick's being signed, and there is some belief that he remains unsigned because of his social activism on and off the football field. The awards show will be broadcast Friday night on NBC Sports Network.
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