Beyoncé made a surprise appearance at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year Awards to present exiled quarterback Colin Kaepernick the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.
In accepting the Ali Legacy Award distinction, Kaepernick spoke with humility about how much he owes to those who’ve supported him through his historic National Anthem protest.
“I say this as a person who receives credit for using my platform to protest systemic oppression, racialized injustice and and the dire consequences of anti-blackness in America … 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,” he said. “With our without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people.”
Sports Illustrated’s recognition of Kaepernick’s activism comes a couple of days after ACLU celebrated him as it’s 2017 Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award recipient and a little over 48 hours after he was named a finalist for Time magazine’s prestigious Person of the Year award. Last month, the former NFL star roared back into the headlines when GQ announced that he was the publication’s Citizen of the Year.
Joel Embiid (Rising Star award), Maya Moore (Performer of the Year award), Carlos Beltran (Hope Award), and the Houston tandem of J.J. Watt and Jose Altuve (co-Sportsperson of the Year award winners), were also honored during the Sports Illustrated awards ceremony, which will air on NBC at 8 p.m. on Friday.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 6, 2017