Beyoncé surprised Colin Kaepernick Tuesday night, presenting him with Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at SI’s 2017 Sportsperson of the Year Show.
“Thank you, Colin Kaepernick, thank you for your selfless heart and your conviction, thank you for your personal sacrifice,” Beyoncé said. “Colin took action with no fear of consequence 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. We’re still waiting for the world to catch up.”
The award honors athletes who push for a cause using their platform. Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel for the National anthem in 2016 and has been vocal about police brutality and social injustice.
His silent protest quickly drew national media attention and was the biggest off-the-field story of 2016. Kaepernick was not signed by an NFL team during the off season and remains unsigned.
He has since raised millions of dollars to empower oppressed communities along with other philanthropic ventures.
“I accept this award not for myself, but on behalf of the people. Because if it were not for my love of the people, I would not have protested. And if it was not for the support from the people, I would not be on this stage today,” Kapernick said during his acceptance speech. “With our without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people.”
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