In what has become undoubtedly the most award-winning and star-studded unemployment in the history of unemployment, Colin Kaepernick has won yet another award.
Sports Illustrated has selected Kaepernick as their Muhammad Ali Legacy Award recipient.
The award is given to a sports figure who uses their sports platform to influence change over the course of decades. The award will be presented to Kaepernick on Tuesday, at SI’s Sportsperson of the Year Awards show in New York.
While Kaepernick has not been using his platform to initiate change for “decades,” his protest movement and social activism having only begun in the preseason of 2016, nonetheless, SI decided to give him the award anyway.
Sports Illustrated Executive Editor Steve Cannella told USA Today Sports, “The Muhammad Ali Legacy Award is given to those who make the world a better place. 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.”
Of course, one major difference between Ali and Kaepernick, is that Ali didn’t protest the Vietnam War from inside the boxing ring. Ali used his notoriety as a sports star to speak on issues of race, and the war, but he didn’t use actual sporting events to do that.
Kaepernick, obviously went another route.
Kaepernick began protesting the national anthem by first sitting, then kneeling during the song in the preseason of 2016. After walking away from his contract with the 49ers at the end of the 2016 season, he has remained unemployed. In October, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the league alleging that NFL owners colluded to keep him out of the league.
According to USA Today, Lonnie Ali, wife of Muhammad Ali, played a role in giving the award to Kaepernick.
Ali said in a statement, “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.
“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.”
Several dozen NFL players continued the protests Kaepernick began in the 2017 season, eventually succeeding in using the controversy surrounding the protests to force NFL owners to donate $89 million to “social justice” causes.
Kaepernick remains unemployed.