Colin Kaepernick received two top honors at the 2017 Sports Illustrated "Sportsperson of the Year" Award Show on Tuesday night (December 5).
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
Held at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, the first of the honors was the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, which is given to a person who "embodies the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy and has used sports as a platform for changing the world." The second was having Beyoncé present the honor to him. "Thank you Colin Kaepernick. Thank you for your selfless heart, and your conviction. 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," the superstar singer praised. "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."
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was recognized for his ongoing activism that began during the 2016-17 NFL season, when he decided to sit out the national anthem to protest the United States' refusal to address police brutality toward black men.
"I say this as a person who receives credit for using my platform to protest systemic oppression, racialized injustice and and the dire consequences of anti-blackness in America_," Kaepernick said after receiving the honor. "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 our without the NFL's platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people."
The full SI "Sportsperson of the Year" Award ceremony will air December 8th at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports.