Sports Illustrated Magazine is announcing their annual awards this week, and is giving former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick a prestigious honor, in recognition of his National Anthem protests.
Earlier today, Sports Illustrated announced Colin Kaepernick would be honored by the magazine with this statement:
“Steadfast in his fight for social justice and committed to his beliefs no matter the cost, Colin Kaepernick is the recipient of the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.”
The Muhammad Ali Legacy Award is given to an athlete who adheres to his principles regardless of personal cost.
In an essay announcing the award, SI writer Michael Rosenberg blasted Kaepernick’s critics and claimed that politics is keeping him from being hired by an NFL team.
In the last 16 months, Kaepernick’s truth has been twisted, distorted and used for political gain. It has cost him at least a year of his NFL career and the income that should have come with it. But still, it is his truth. He has not wavered from it. He does not regret speaking it. He has caused millions of people to examine it. And, quietly, he has donated nearly a million dollars to support it.
For all those reasons—for his steadfastness in the fight for social justice, for his adherence to his beliefs no matter the cost—Colin Kaepernick is the recipient of the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. Each year SI and the Ali family honor a figure who embodies the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy and has used sports as a platform for changing the world. “I am proud to be able to present this to Colin for his passionate defense of social justice and civil rights for all people,” says Lonnie Ali, Muhammad’s widow. “Like Muhammad, Colin is a man who stands on his convictions with confidence and courage, undaunted by the personal sacrifices he has had to make to have his message heard. And he has used his celebrity and philanthropy to the benefit of some of our most vulnerable community members.”