Beyoncé made a surprise appearance at last night’s Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Ceremony to present Colin Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.
The award is given annually to an athlete who uses sports as a platform to change the world. Colin Kaepernick did this by remaining seated while the national anthem played back in 2016 to protest police brutality towards black men. His action sparked similar protests by NFL players that continue to incite controversy in the present.
Beyonce’s entrance to present the award came as a surprise and the crowd was seen cheering with excitement in the footage.
As she presented the award, Beyoncé took a strong stance on Kaepernick’s actions and thanked him for his selfless heart.
“Thank you Colin Kaepernick. Thank you for your selfless heart, and your conviction,” the singer said in her presentation speech. “Thank you for your personal sacrifice. Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion only hope to change the world for the better. To change perception, to change the way we treat each other, especially people of color.”
She added: “We’re still waiting for the world to catch up. It’s been said that racism is so American, that when we protest racism, some assume we are protesting America. So, let’s be very clear. Colin has always been very respectful of the individuals who selfless serve and protect our country and our communities and our families. His message is solely focused on social injustice for historically disenfranchised people. Let’s not get that mistaken.”
In Colin’s acceptance speech, he said did what he did, not to get acceptance, but for the people. He went on to say that his platform is the people.
He said: “I say this as a person who receives credit for using my platform to protest systemic oppression, racialized injustice and the dire consequences of anti-blackness in America,” he said. “I accept this award not for myself, but on behalf of the people. Because if it were not for my love of the people, I would not have protested. And if it was not for the support from the people, I would not be on this stage today. With or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people.”
Watch Beyonce present the award in the video below.