By Robyn Collins
Beyoncé took the stage at the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Awards yesterday (Dec 5) to present former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.
The award goes to an athlete that has used his or her platform to create change. Kaepernick started a protest movement in the NFL by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem, bringing awareness to racial equality and social justice issues. While Kaepernick no longer plays in the NFL, his move had a domino effect on the league this year, much to the dismay of President Trump and others.
When Beyoncé took the podium to present Kaepernick his award, she delivered a powerful speech, reports Billboard.
“Thank you Colin Kaepernick. Thank you for your selfless heart, and your conviction,” she said. “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. 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,” she continued. “It’s been said that racism is so American, that when we protest racism, some assume we are protesting America. So, let’s be very clear. Colin has always been very respectful of the individuals who selflessly serve and protect our country and our communities and our families. His message is solely focused on social injustice for historically disenfranchised people. Let’s not get that mistaken.”
In response, Kaepernick commented, “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. I accept this award not for myself, but on behalf of the people.”