Prior to the ceremony, Sports Illustrated writer Michael Rosenberg praised Kaepernick for making “his truth known” with his controversial national anthem protests. Explaining the award, Rosenberg wrote, “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.”
This sentiment was reflected in the short introductory speech given by Beyoncé, who said the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback “took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion, only hope to change the world for the better.”
“With or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people, because my platform is the people,” Kaepernick said.
In March, Lahren was fired from The Blaze, the news outlet where she gained a following for, among other things, speaking about Kaepernick. After settling a legal dispute with her formal employer, she went to work for Fox News.
Tomi Lahren at 'Chelsea Handler in Conversation with Tomi Lahren' panel during Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon)
Former San Francisco 49ers star Colin Kaepernick, who sparked NFL players' recent protests during the national anthem against racial injustice, received Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award from a special surprise presenter – Beyoncé.
"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 said Tuesday night at SI's Sportsperson of the Year ceremony.
"I accept this award not for myself, but on behalf of the people because if it were not for my love of the people, I would not have protested," Kaepernick said after an introduction by "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah. "And if it was not for the support from the people, I would not be on this stage today. With our without the NFL's platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people."