On Thursday, Sports Illustrated announced that Colin Kaepernick will receive the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award this year. The award is given to individuals “whose career in athletics has directly or indirectly impacted the world” and it will be presented to the former 49ers quarterback at their annual ceremony in New York on Tuesday.
In their release, SI explained the decision by saying:
“Nobody claims Kaepernick is perfect. Reasonable, woke people can be upset that he did not vote in the 2016 election. But the Ali Legacy Award does not honor perfection, and the criticisms of Kaepernick are misguided in one fundamental way: They make this story a referendum on Kaepernick. It was never supposed to be about him. It is about Tamir Rice and the world’s highest incarceration rate and a country that devalues education and slides too easily into violence.”
This honor comes just weeks after GQ named him “Citizen of the Year
” and just a few months after the NFL Players Association
awarded him their “Community MVP
“. Despite all of that, Kaepernick remains unsigned.
While the decision was a popular one for many, many people, it was not universally praised. Following the announcement, social media exploded with anti-Kaepernick tweets:
One time Governor of Arkansas, presidential hopeful, and general windbag Mike Huckabee even joined in the Kaep-bashing. He wrote: “New name for old magazine – [Sport Illustrated] will become ‘Sports ELIMINATED’” (and then, I assume, he patted himself on the back.)
Sport Illustrated will be broadcasting
the awards for the first time ever on December 8th at 8 PM (E.T.) on NBCSN.
[Main photo via @Kaepernick7 on Twitter]