Colin Kaepernick got the surprise of a lifetime when Beyonce presented him with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award on Tuesday night.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was honored with the award for using his sports platform to protest against police brutality and racial injustice.
It happened at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year ceremonies. The award is given to an athlete who uses their platform to promote change.
Beyonce told Kaepernick, “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,” Beyoncé said as she thanked Kaepernick for his selflessness and conviction. “We’re still waiting for the world to catch up.”
Beyonce also spoke on comments by President Donald Trump, misguided criticism and more.
“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,” she said. “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.”
The Ali Award honors those who embody the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy as vehicles for changing the world, Beyoncé said.
Kaepernick ended his acceptance speech by saying, ““With or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people.”