Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked a league-wide protest that has spanned two seasons since he first kneeled down before a game to protest racial violence and police killings in 2016, was awarded Amnesty International’s highest honor on Saturday.
“While taking a knee is a physical display that challenges the merits of who is excluded from the notion of freedom, liberty, and justice for all, the protest is also rooted in a convergence of my moralistic beliefs, and my love for the people.” —Colin KaepernickPresented at a ceremony in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Saturday, the secretary general of the human rights group Salil Shetty said Kaepernick earned its Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2018 for his “refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination.”
“Just like the Ambassadors of Conscience before him,” Shetty added, “Colin Kaepernick chooses to speak out and inspire others despite the professional and personal risks. When high profile people choose to take a stand for human rights, it emboldens many others in their struggles against injustice. Kaepernick’s commitment is all the more remarkable because of the alarming levels of vitriol it has attracted from those in power.”
As Amnesty recounted in a statement:
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