Last night Sports Illustrated held its annual Sportsperson of the Year ceremony, which saw Beyoncé make a surprise appearance to present the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award to none other than NFL quarterback and activist, Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick, who made headlines last season for choosing to protest police brutality and racial inequality by kneeling before games during the National Anthem, has no doubt been highly influential in his fight to change the way we as humans think and act towards one another. Since then, many players have chosen to stand alongside Kaep, also protesting during the National Anthem, while Colin himself remains unsigned, largely due to his sacrifice.
In speaking on Kaepernick and his conviction, Beyoncé stated, “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.”
She went on to add, “We’re still waiting for the world to catch up. It’s been said that racism is so American that when we protest racism, some assume we’re protesting America. So, let’s be very clear. Colin has always been very respectful of the individuals who selfless 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.”
Press play above to watch Bey present Kaep with Sports Illustrated‘s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.
Just last month Kaepernick covered GQ’s Men of the Year issue.