Here For It: Colin Kaepernick Is The Recipient of 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, To Be Honored Live on Air Next Week

Posted December 1, 2017

Colin Kaepernick Instagram

After being named GQ’s 2017 Citizen of the Year, now Colin Kaepernick has received yet another coveted honor, this time from the people at Sports Illustrated.

It was announced on Thursday, that Kaepernick is the recipient of the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.

via USA Today:

Kaepernick is expected to attend SI’s Sportsperson of the Year Awards show on Tuesday in New York, where he will be honored. The Legacy Award typically goes to sports figures who have used their platform to initiate change over a span of decades.

Kaepernick, 30, is the youngest winner, and his efforts — from kneeling during the national anthem to working with and funding social justice groups — only date to September 2016. However, those involved in the selection process said Kaepernick met the spirit of what the award represents.

“The Muhammad Ali Legacy Award is given to those who make the world a better place,” Steve Cannella, Sports Illustrated executive editor, told USA TODAY Sports. “The fact Colin hasn’t played this year or been on the field doesn’t disqualify him. That fact that he hasn’t played in a game actually shows what he has sacrificed for standing up for what he believes. There will never be another Muhammad Ali, but you can see the echoes of (Ali) in what Colin has done over the last 12 to 15 months.”

Kaepernick started protesting during the national anthem in the 2016 preseason to draw attention to police brutality and social justice issues. The protests were soon adopted by several players and have continued this season. The protesting players and the NFL have been criticized by President Donald Trump and others who view the peaceful demonstrations as an affront to the flag and the military.

Colin was hand picked by Lonnie Ali, Ali’s wife of more than 30 years before the legendary boxer died in June 2016. She played a significant role in deciding the winner and will be on hand to present him with the honor.

“I am proud to be able to present this year’s SI Muhammad Ali Legacy Award to Colin Kaepernick for his passionate defense of social justice and civil rights for all people,” Lonnie Ali said in a statement.

“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. He has used his celebrity and philanthropy to benefit some of our most vulnerable community members.”

Check out the full Sports Illustrated write up on Colin and the award HERE and catch the event which will be broadcast for the first time nationally on NBC Sports Network (8 p.m. ET, Dec. 8),

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