(AllHipHop News) Sports Illustrated presented football player/activist Colin Kaepernick with the publication's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. Music superstar Beyonce was on hand at Tuesday's ceremony to honor the Know Your Rights Camp backer.
"Thank you, Colin Kaepernick. Thank you for your selfless heart and your conviction. Thank you for your personal sacrifice," said Beyonce during her introduction speech. "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."
She continued, "It’s been said that racism is so American, that when we protest racism, some assume we are protesting America. So, let’s be very clear. Colin has always been very respectful of the individuals who selflessly serve and protect our country and our communities and our families. His message is solely focused on social injustice for historically disenfranchised people. Let’s not get that mistaken."
After receiving the honor, Kaepernick said, "I accept this award knowing that the legacy of Muhammad Ali is that of a champion of the people and one who was affectionately known as The People's Champ. I accept this award, not for myself, but on behalf of the people, because if it were not for my love for 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. With or without the NFL's platform, I will continue to work for the people, because my platform is the people.”
Colin Kaepernick sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice by choosing to kneel during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at NFL games. He also pledged to donate a total of $1 million to non-profit organizations and social campaigns such as Coalition For The Homeless, Meals on Wheels, Communities United for Police Reform, 100 Suits For 100 Men, and The Dreamville Foundation.