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 (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Beyonce presented Colin Kaepernick with Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award on Tuesday night, and Kaepernick promised that “with or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people.”

Beyonce was brought out as a surprise presenter by comedian Trevor Noah. She said she was “proud and humbled” to present the award.


“Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion,” Beyonce said. “Only hope to change the world for the better. To change perception, to change the way we treat each other. Especially people of color.”

Last year’s Ali Award winner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, called Kaepernick a “worthy recipient” during a video tribute.

“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,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem last season to protest racial inequality and police brutality. The demonstration sparked a wave of protests by NFL players during the anthem that repeatedly have been denounced by President Donald Trump.

Kaepernick parted ways with the San Francisco 49ers in March and hasn’t been signed by another team. He filed a grievance against the NFL in October alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners following his protests.

He spoke Tuesday about continuing Ali’s legacy for fighting social injustice, saying the boxing great “mentored me without ever meeting me.”



“The footprints he leaves are large,” Kaepernick said, “and his life is and has been a multi-textured tapestry that is rich in love, wisdom, life lessons and human kindness. I can only hope that I’m taking steps toward walking on the footsteps that he has left behind for the world to follow.”

Kaepernick skipped the red carpet prior to the show and was not available for questions. The awards show will be broadcast Friday night on NBC Sports Network.

Kaepernick also recently was honored by the ACLU of Southern California with the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award and was named GQ magazine’s “Citizen of the Year” for his activism, which included pledging $1 million to “organizations working in oppressed communities.”

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9 thoughts on “Beyoncè Presents Colin Kaepernick with SI’s Muhammad Ali Award

  1. specialt757 on said:

    Perhaps Laila Ali could have presented the award, it would not have changed anything. I have no problem with Beyoncé presenting it, it wasn’t about her.
    Another thing, I’m so glad Kap didn’t allowed the photo ops and questions, they really serve no purpose in his fight, it only adds to the media’s & public’s wrong perception of him, he knows exactly what’s up, good for him for saying F you, without really saying it.

  2. specialt757 on said:

    I love it! Congrats Kap, keep fighting, this award was “fitting” for his cause. Ali fought for the rights of POC and so is Kap. One thing is for sure tho, Kap will be in our history books, I only hope the truth will be reported and no bull-ish about disrespecting the damn flag, the same flag that white folks have burned, spat on, and walked all over, yeah, that one.

  3. They gave to a the right Young Man he deserve it for what he is doing and you know what he will get something greater then football just be patient and it will come. Keep doing what you do we are so proud of you.

    • Stop finding fault. Both of these people are doing great in the community something a lot of us are not doing (but finding fault as usual). Speaking or not, Beyoncé is doing something so called “can speaking” people are not doing.

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