Colin Kaepernick

How Colin Kaepernick will now forever be linked to boxing great Muhammad Ali

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, seen here at a 2016 press conference, was honored with Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, seen here at a 2016 press conference, was honored with Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. AP

Colin Kaepernick hasn’t been given the chance this year to win on the field.

But, he’s certainly doing so off of it.

The Turlock-raised Pitman High graduate and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was awarded Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.

It’s given each year, and decided upon by the magazine and Ali family, to “honor a figure who embodies the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy and has used sports as a platform for changing the world.”

Kaepernick – whose kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality sparked a movement — was recently named one of the Men of the Year in the December issue of GQ magazine. His specific title is Citizen of the Year.

For the Ali Award, SI’s Michael Rosenberg wrote: “In the last 16 months, Kaepernick’s truth has been twisted, distorted and used for political gain. It has cost him at least a year of his NFL career and the income that should have come with it. But still, it is his truth. He has not wavered from it. He does not regret speaking it. He has caused millions of people to examine it. And, quietly, he has donated nearly a million dollars to support it.”

Previous winners include Jim Brown, Magic Johnson, Jack Nicklaus, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Lonnie Ali, Muhammad Ali’s widow, told the magazine: “I am proud to be able to present this to Colin 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. And he has used his celebrity and philanthropy to the benefit of some of our most vulnerable community members.”

Click here to read Sports Illustrated’s story.

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