Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Colin Kaepernick honored with Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

Colin Kaepernick honored with Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

Beyoncé makes a surprise appearance at the Sports Illustrated Person of the Year event to present @Kaepernick7 with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. "Let's not get that mistaken", Beyoncé said of Kaepernick.

"Colin took action with no fear of effect or repercussion, only hope to change the world for the better", Beyoncé said. "Only hope to change the world for the better".

Kaepernick sparked a national debate when he began refusing to stand during the national anthem in September 2016 to protest racial inequality and police brutality in America.

"I accept this award not for myself, but on behalf of the people".

The football player said in his acceptance speech: "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm so proud and humbled to present the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award to Colin Kaepernick".

Kaepernick received the Ali Award on the same night Houston athletes J.J. Watt and Jose Altuve were honored as co-recipients of SI's 2017 Sportsperson of the Year award for their impacts both on the field and in aiding Houston's Hurricane Harvey recovery. Earlier this week, the magazine announced that Kaepernick was receiving the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award award due to his "steadfastness in the fight for social justice, for his adherence to his beliefs no matter the cost". To change perception, to change the way we treat each other, especially people of color.

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.

The quarterback parted ways with the San Francisco 49ers this year, and was not signed to another team.

"The footprints he leaves are large", Kaepernick said, "and his life is and has been a multi-textured tapestry that is rich in love, wisdom, life lessons and human kindness. I can only hope that I'm taking steps toward walking on the footsteps that he has left behind for the world to follow". Be sure to ch-ch-check out Colin's FULL speech when the ceremony is televised on Friday night at 8 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network.

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