Beyonce Presents Colin Kaepernick with SI’s Muhammad Ali Award

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Colin Kaepernick is a name you all probably know. On Tuesday, December 5, the athlete and political activist Colin Kaepernick attended the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Ceremony in New York. Kaepernick was there to receive the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award and guess who presented this prestigious award? None other than Queen Bee, Beyoncé.

Though I never had the pleasure of meeting Muhammad Ali, he mentored me without ever meeting me. He in many ways laid the foundation of what I saw as the zenith of athlete-activism and perfecting the utilization of your platform as an athlete to force conversations about how America was not living up to what America professes to be. Lonnie Williams, the wife of Muhammad Ali was in attendance tonight. I am equally honored to share this space with her. She once said that, “Muhammad’s legacy is not just for me and his children and grandchildren, it’s a legacy for the world.” 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. If it were not for the peoples willingness to support me, I would not be on this stage today. Thank you very much to Sports Illustrated for the honor of the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. I am humbled and honored to share this with the people. 📸: @KarlFergusonJr

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The 20-time Grammy winner made the surprise appearance to share her gratitude with the former 49ers quarterback. Last year, during the 2016-2017 NFL season, Kaepernick started the movement of kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police violence against African Americans and other minorities. Since then, many other athletes and teams have joined the movement.

“Thank you for your selfless heart and your conviction. Thank you for your personal sacrifice,” she told Kaepernick on stage. “Colin took action with no fear of consequences or repercussion — only to change the world for the better. The change perception. To change the way we treat each other — especially people of color. We’re still waiting for the world to catch up.”

Kaepernick said he was “beyond humbled” to not only be receiving the award but to be introduced by Beyoncé. He is currently a free agent after going unsigned during this NFL season.