She went on to explain: "So, let's be very clear". "Only hope to change the world for the better".
Beyonce, who came out as a surprise presenter, thanked the former football player for his "personal sacrifice", before announcing the award: "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm so proud and humbled, to present the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award to Colin Kaepernick", she said.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, last year's Ali Award victor, also praised Kaepernick.
Well said. In case you forgot, the football stud sparked national debate past year when he began kneeling during the national anthem in an attempt to protest racial inequality and police brutality in the U.S. Although many have voiced their support for Colin, the American athlete has been met with quite a bit of criticism too.
The action caught on with fellow National Football League colleagues, who have continued the protests, this season, amid scolding from U.S. President Donald Trump. To change perception, to change the way we treat each other, especially people of color. The award is given to athletes who use their platform to change the world, and Kaepernick has undoubtedly filled the requirements. She also explained why the former 49ers quarterback was the flawless person to take the award home this year.
The quarterback parted ways with the San Francisco 49ers this year, and was not signed to another team. "His life is and has been a multitextured tapestry that is rich in love, wisdom, life lessons and human kindness. I can only hope that I'm taking steps toward walking in 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 night's ceremonies - including Kaepernick's full speech - will be televised at 8 p.m. ET Friday on NBC Sports Network and at 8 p.m. Saturday on Univision Deportes.
Kaepernick was also recently honored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California with the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award as well as being named GQ magazine's "Citizen of the Year".