Photo credit: Peter Dejong/Associated Press
Over the weekend, former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, received Amnesty International’s highest honor when he received its Ambassador of Conscience Award on Saturday.
“The Ambassador of Conscience award celebrates the spirit of activism and exceptional courage, as embodied by Colin Kaepernick,” Salil Shetty, the human rights organization’s secretary general, said in a statement. “He is an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination.”
“Just like the Ambassadors of Conscience before him, Colin Kaepernick chooses to speak out and inspire others despite the professional and personal risks. When high profile people choose to take a stand for human rights, it emboldens many others in their struggles against injustice. Colin Kaepernick’s commitment is all the more remarkable because of the alarming levels of vitriol it has attracted from those in power.”
— AmnestyInternational (@amnesty) April 21, 2018
Since taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality in 2016, Kaepernick has completed his pledge to donate $1 million to organizations working in oppressed communities, been named GQ’s Citizen of the Year, as well as received the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.
While accepting the Ambassador of Conscious award, Kaepernick spoke out about racial injustice, expressing: “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.
“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?”
Past recipients include human rights icon Nelson Mandela, girls’ education advocate Malala Yousafzai, and singer Alicia Keys for her HIV/AIDS activism.
Congratulations, Colin! Thank you for continuing to use the power of your platform to help fight for a better future for us all.