When Colin Rand Kaepernick began his career as a professional footballer, he properly didn’t envisage that he would have to sacrifice his career as a pro Quarterback to fight for a greater good. Kaepernick began protesting his view on racial injustice in America, around August 2016, when he decided not to stand for the 49ers game against the Texans, after which he opted to take a knee during subsequent games.
“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” he added. “There are bodies in the street,” he said then, “and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
According to Sports Illustrated, the Award honors “a figure who embodies the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy and has used sports as a platform for changing the world.”
“I am proud to be able to present this to Colin for his passionate defense of social justice and civil rights for all people,” says Lonnie Ali, Muhammad’s widow. “Like Muhammad, Colin is a man who stands on his convictions with confidence and courage, undaunted by the personal sacrifices he has had to make to have his message heard. And he has used his celebrity and philanthropy to the benefit of some of our most vulnerable community members.”
During the event, Kaeperick’s award was presented by Beyonce, who was brought out as a surprise presenter.
“Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion,” Beyonce said. “Only hope to change the world for the better. To change perception, to change the way we treat each other. Especially people of colour.”
Kaepernick’s Take-a-knee stance gained support from various NFL members, athletes, military veterans and civilians all over the USA. The Kaepernick inspired protest also suffered massive backlash and criticism from the president of the United States of America Donald Trump, NFL executives, and fans, some of whom posted videos of themselves burning Kaeprnicks Jersey.
Despite being blackballed by the NFL, Kaepernick has given nearly a million dollars to the course. He has also been named GQ Magazines citizen of the year.
Other legacy winners include the likes of Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown, Jack Nicklaus and Magic Johnson.