There’s nothing better than being honored by the Queen.
The award was presented to Kaepernick for spearheading the #TakeAKnee protests despite the risk to his own career. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has not been signed by the NFL since choosing to take a knee during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice, despite his talent on the field.
“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,” Beyoncé said in presenting the award to Kaepernick. “We’re still waiting for the world to catch up.”
Beyoncé also addressed the common but untrue criticism that the #TakeAKnee protests are somehow disrespectful to the country, flag, and troops.
“It’s been said that racism is so American that when we protest racism, some assume we’re protesting America. So let’s be very clear,” she said. “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.”
Kaepernick accepted the award and promised to keep working, saying, “With or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people.”
Beyoncé presents Colin Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at the Sports Illustrated Awards tonight! pic.twitter.com/U9J4gwmGdA
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) December 6, 2017
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 6, 2017