WATCH: Colin Kaepernick Amnesty International Awards speech reflects on what’s at the root of resistance
While accepting the Ambassador of Conscience Award, Colin Kaepernick shared his personal struggles with standing up for social injustice while kneeling during the national anthem and reveals how love has been at the root of his resistance.
“I’ve realized that our love, that sometimes manifests itself as black rage, is a beautiful form of defiance against a system that seeks to suppress our humanity,” Kaepernick said during the Amnesty International Awards. It was a rare appearance for the athlete who has spearheaded a movement for change.
“I am here to join with you all in this battle against police violence,” he said at a ceremony in Amsterdam Netherlands.
He continued: “A system that wants us to hate ourselves, but I remind you it’s love that’s at the root of our resistance.”
The former San Francisco 49er was presented the Ambassador of Conscience Award by Eric Reid, his former teammate who is now a free agent.
Colin Kaepernick has taken a few career hits, but he’s standing proud after receiving the Ambassador of Conscience Award from Amnesty International for his work on social injustice and racism.
Standing Tall At All Costs
“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.”
Ever since Kaepernick made headlines for kneeling in protest during the national anthem, he has continued his activist streak off the playing field, setting the bar high for other athletes and celebrities to get involved in their communities as well.
Still, Kaepernick has remained shut out of the NFL, leading to accusations that the league has blackballed him because of his #TakeAKnee activism. The protests have been the subject of nationwide debate, prompting even President Donald Trump to weigh in and suggest that any players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired.
This award is a high honor for the football player. Other recipients include Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, U2, Alicia Keys and Ai Weiwei.