According to CNN, the honor is 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 praised Kaepernick’s “steadfastness in the fight for social justice” and his “adherence to his beliefs no matter the cost.”
Comparing the two men, the article pointed out that both Ali and Kaepernick “sacrificed for the greater good at a time when many Americans could not see it was a greater good.”
CNN noted that Sports Illustrated consulted with Ali’s widow, Lonnie Ali, to pick the recipient and she was apparently “proud” to present Kaepernick with the award.
“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 benefit some of our most vulnerable community members.”
As we previously reported, Ali died last June at the age of 74 from respiratory illness complicated by his Parkinson’s disease.
The iconic boxer was more than just an athlete, he was an avid activist who protested the Vietnam War and refused to serve in the army during the government imposed draft. Like him, Kaepernick has spoken out about social injustice, taking a knee during the National Anthem and receiving a lot of backlash from it, especially from President Trump.
Either way, we are clear that Colin is a hero and is worthy of this recognition. Conrgats!
Read the Sports Illustrated article here.