Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Colin Kaepernick honored with Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

Colin Kaepernick honored with Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

On Tuesday, the former San Francisco 49ers got yet another surprise when Beyoncé showed up to the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Awards and presented him with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.

Lahren repeatedly slammed Kaepernick as "disrespectful" when the former San Francisco 49ers made a decision to take a knee during the national anthem before games to protest police brutality.

Last year's Ali Award victor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, paid an emotional tribute to Kaepernick by saying: "He fully embraced the risk to his career in order to remind Americans of the systemic racism that was denying African Americans their opportunities to equal education, jobs, health and even their lives".

Other players supported him, but the movement he started gained new steam - and generated more controversy - after Donald Trump called out players for such actions during a rally in Alabama on September 22. "It's been said that racism is so American that when we protest racism, some assume we're protesting America".

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"Wouldn't you love to see one of these National Football League owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired!" NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called Trump's comments "divisive", although Goodell has also said since that players should stand for the anthem.

The artist and activist honoured the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback with the award for using his platform to protest against police brutality and racial injustice, including the powerful, symbolic moment where he sparked the 'take a knee' movement by kneeling during the USA national anthem before games. Earlier this week, the magazine announced that Kaepernick was receiving the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award award due to his "steadfastness in the fight for social justice, for his adherence to his beliefs no matter the cost".

"The footprints he [Ali] leaves are large", Kaepernick said. "I can only hope that I'm taking steps toward walking in the footsteps that he has left behind for the world to follow". The show will be broadcast Friday night on NBC Sports Network.

Gregg Re is an editor for Fox News.

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