Colin Kaepernick received the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, which honors an athlete who uses their platform to further change, earlier this week.
Kaepernick’s decision to remain seated while the national anthem played back in 2016 sparked similar protests by NFL players that continue to incite controversy to the present.
During her presentation of the award to the athlete/social activist, Beyonce took a strong stance on Kaepernick’s actions to protest police brutality
“Thank you Colin Kaepernick … for your selfless heart, and your conviction,” the singer said in her speech. “Thank you for your personal sacrifice.
“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. 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.
In his acceptance speech, Kaepernick said that his “platform is the people.”
“I say this as a person who receives credit for using my platform to protest systemic oppression, racialized injustice and the dire consequences of anti-blackness in America,” he said. “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. With or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people.”
The 2017 SI Sportsperson of the Year Show airs on NBCSN on Friday, Dec.8 and Sat., Dec. 9, at 8 pm, each night (Excerpted from Variety 12/6/17)