Amnesty International awarded former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award for his protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
“The Ambassador of Conscience award celebrates the spirit of activism and exceptional courage, as embodied by Colin Kaepernick,” Salil Shetty, the human rights group’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.”
According to its website, this award is the highest honor of Amnesty International. Past award recipients include Nelson Mandela U2, Alicia Keys and Ai Weiwei.
Kaepernick has taken the sports world by storm over the past two years, as he protested racial inequality in America by kneeling for the national anthem before the start of his games.
“To me, this is something that has to change,” Kaepernick said in an August 2016 interview. “And when there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
This led to many other players in the NFL choosing to kneel for the national anthem as well. It sparked a movement that is still going on today.
While Kaepernick is not currently on an NFL roster, his keeps continuing to bring awareness to the inequality that exists in America.
Since becoming a free agent last year, Kaepernick completed his pledge to donate $1 million to organization that work in what he calls “suppressed communities.”