Colin Kaepernick is carrying on the legacy of Muhammed Ali, according to the Ali family and Sports Illustrated.
The controversial NBA quarterback has received the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, an honor awarded annually to athletes who demonstrate “the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy” and who use “sports as a platform for changing the world.”
Sports Illustrated Executive Editor Stephen Cannella says “there will never be another Ali, but few athletes have followed his example as fully as Colin Kaepernick”.
Kaepernick, who hasn’t played in 2017, famously kneeled during the singing of the National Anthem before a 2016 pre-season game as a form of protest for the treatment of black Americans, particularly by police. While his decision to protest has brought more awareness to racial inequality in the U.S. and gained support from many NFL players, he’s received a heavy dose of criticism from people who believe he’s disrespecting the flag, military and police.