Colin Kaepernick was awarded Sports Illustrated‘s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award last night, by none other than Beyoncé.
The former 49ers quarterback spearheaded the longstanding ‘take a knee’ protests during American football games this summer, in which a number of players dropped to one knee during the US national anthem, in protest of systemic racism and violence against minorities.
For his efforts, Kaepernick was awarded Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy award at last night’s Sportsperson Of The Year awards in New York City. Presenting him with the award, Beyoncé said: “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 colour.”
Accepting his award, Kaepernick paid tribute to the award’s namesake, saying: “I accept this award knowing that Muhammad Ali’s legacy is that of a champion of the people.”
A number of stars have led the music world in supporting the NFL players who staged demonstrations during matches across America since its spread in September.
President Trump, meanwhile, hit out at players who perform the symbolic gesture, which was started in 2016 by Kaepernick in a protest against police brutality.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired!’,” Trump told a crowd during a rally in Alabama.