“In truth, this is an award that I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force,” he said.
Colin Kaepernick Receives Ambassador of Conscience Award For NFL Protest Calling For End To Police Brutality
Colin Kaepernick continues to be rewarded for his humanitarian work and protest calling for the end of rampant police brutality against black and brown people.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is now the recipient of Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award. His former San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid presented him with the award at a ceremony in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Saturday.
Almost two years ago, the beleaguered athlete, who has been blackballed by the NFL, took a knee during the national anthem in an effort to call attention to police shootings of unarmed people of color.
The protests spurred criticism as it spread across the league, to other sports, to schools on all academic levels and to the general public.
"Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation — the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of black and brown lives in the prison industrial complex," Kaepernick said during his acceptance speech.
Echoing the words of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, he remained steadfast in his decision to not stand for the anthem while oppression continues to go unaddressed.
"How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates, 'freedom and justice for all,' that is so unjust to so many of the people living there?" he said.
Even though he has donated $1 million to various charities across the country and has hosted Know Your Rights Camps for youth, he also recognized that neither Reid or himself may ever be able to play football again in the NFL.
"Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy," Kaepernick said. "But I am also pained by the fact that his taking a knee, and demonstrating courage to protect the rights of black and brown people in America, has also led to his ostracization from the NFL when he is widely recognized as one of the best competitors in the game and in the prime of his career."
But Kaepernick has no regrets. The NFL has agreed to do its part in fighting against police brutality by committing $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes.
Kaepernick also took time to recognize rapper J. Cole for being there during the protest and incorporating his social justice into his work, as well.