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Although Colin Kaepernick hasn't stepped foot onto a professional football field in the year 2017, the former 49ers quarterback is instead choosing to selflessly work to make a difference in a variety of ways.
After highlighting the ways in which the 30-year-old has consistently fought against social injustice, such as by sparking a national dialogue with his ongoing protest movement in the NFL and by quietly donating nearly a million dollars to support organizations in line with his mission to help fight oppression and give back to communities of color, the publication goes on to draw a parallel between Kaepernick's career and that of the late legend Muhammad Ali's. In fact, SI even points out that "no winner has been more fitting than Kaepernick."
"For all those reasons—for his steadfastness in the fight for social justice, for his adherence to his beliefs no matter the cost—Colin Kaepernick is the recipient of the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award," the publication declared. "Each year SI and the Ali family honor 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," Lonnie Ali, Muhammad's widow shared with SI. "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."
Many congrats! Take a look at Sports Illustrated's editorial ode to Colin Kaepernick's ongoing work here.