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“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 his acceptance speech, Kaepernick said that his “platform is the people.”
“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.”
Kaepernick has been unable to find a new NFL team since he opted out of his contract with the 49ers at the end of the 2016 season, and sued the NFL and its owners in October for
allegedly colluding against hiring him. Kaepernick also received the ACLU’s courageous advocate award Monday evening.
The 2017 SI Sportsperson of the Year Show will air on NBCSN and on Univision Deportes Network at 8 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday, respectively.