Beyonce Presents Colin Kaepernick With Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

Kaepernick wins Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

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Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick received an award named for Muhammad Ali on Tuesday night, presented by a fellow cultural icon.

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"Colin took action with no fear of effect or repercussion, only hope to change the world for the better", Beyonce said on Tuesday night in quotes reported by ESPN. To change perception, to change the way we treat each other. "Let's not get that mistaken", Beyoncé said of Kaepernick.

After accepting the award from Beyonce, Kaepernick said he was humbled to follow in the footsteps of a man whose legacy, he says, paved the way for his protest.

The ex-49er said he hoped to continue Ali's legacy of fighting social injustice, saying the late iconic boxer "mentored me without ever meeting me".

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"I say this as a person who receives credit for using my platform to protest systemic oppression, racialized injustice and the dire consequences of anti-blackness in America", he said after receiving the award by Beyoncé at SI's Sportsperson of the Year event at Barclays Center. Because if it was not for my love of the people, I would not have protested.

"I accept this award not for myself, but on behalf of the people", he said.

As she thanked Kaepernick on stage, Beyonce said: "Colin took action with no fear of outcome 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".

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". The demonstration sparked a wave of protests by National Football League players during the anthem that repeatedly have been denounced by President Donald Trump.

Beyonce thanked Kaepernick for his "personal sacrifice", and 2016 Ali Award victor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar called Kaepernick a "worthy recipient" during a video tribute.

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