Unemployed ex-San Francisco 49ers star Colin Kaepernick just got handed a special Sports Illustrated award, the praise was heaped on by Beyoncé who presented the honor.
Everyone was surprised by her appearance at Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year ceremony. She held nothing back as she gushed over Kaepernick, who inspired every recent protest by other NFL players after kneeling during the national anthem last year.
While he claimed he was protesting due to ‘racial injustice in America’, the former 49ers quarterback has not been on field ever since, with zero NFL teams signing him on and he was still honored with a special award Tuesday, Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.
Beyoncé was “proud and humbled” to present the award given to “former athletes and sports figures who embody the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy as vehicles for changing the world”, as ESPN reported. During a video tribute, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, last year’s winner of the Ali Award, called Colin Kaepernick a “worthy recipient.”
This is what Beyoncé stated:
“The guy took action with no fear of consequences or repercussion with hope to change the world for the better, to change perception for the better and the way we treat each other – especially people of color.”
“There’s been a saying – racism is so American that when Americans protest racism, it feels like they are protesting their own homeland. So I’m going to try make this clear – Colin has always been respectful of the ones that selflessly serve and protect our country, communities and families. He focused his message solely on social justice for historically disenfranchised people.”
Then, Kaepernick made a promise – with or without the NFL’s platform he is not going to stop to work for the people – take a look:
“I accept this award on behalf of the American citizens. If it were not for love for them, I would not have protested. If it were not for their support, I would not be here right now. With or without the NFL platform, I won’t stop working for the people – my platform is the people.”
Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL two months back, claiming NFL team owners are colluded to keep him unsigned after his protests and acknowledged that the boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who lost his life last year, mentored him without ever meeting him.
“He leaves huge footprints. His life is and has always been a multitextured tapestry that is rich in love, wisdom, life lessons and human kindness. Hopefully, I’m walking toward the footsteps that he has left behind for us to follow.”
According to ESPN, he was not available for questions and skipped the red carpet before the show which will air Friday on NBC Sports Network.
The controversial quarterback can add this new award of his to every other honor that many would call undeserved, such as being named GQ magazine’s “Citizen of the Year” due to his activism, as well as the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award by the ACLU of Southern California, presented by Jane Fonda.
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