Amsterdam, Netherlands (April 21, 2018) – Colin Kaepernick received the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2018 in honor of his “spirit of activism and exceptional change“. Kaepernick follows in a line of notable recipients that include Nelson Mandela, who fought against South Aafrican apartheid, was jailed for 27 years, and later became President of South Africa. Another recipient, Malala Yousafzai, was the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Tailiban for campaigning on behalf of the right of girls to receive education.
Kaepernick, the former starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and Super Bowl performer, used his ignited a protest against oppression and police brutality y kneeling during the National Anthem. The courageous protest drew scorn from critics and the attention of Donald Trump in the run up to the 2016 presidential election. Subsequently, Kaepernick was released from his employment and unable to return to the NFL in what some believe is collusion taking place among NFL owners.
Eric Reid, former San Francisco 49ers teammate, who joined Kaepernick in the protest and suffered his own career, gave a passionate introduction to the awardee.
On a personal note…
In 39 years of being a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., few if any moments have made as proud as listen to my Fraternity Brother giving this speech. Kappa promotes leadership as a core value. Only Colin Kaepernick knows the extent to which [social justice] leadership was in his moral compass all along, influenced by Kappa, and/or cultivated in the circumstances that had plagued black America in recent years. Either way, his is a life well deserving of recognition. After all else is said and, love for our people and the struggle that fuels more important that any other aspect of “fraternity”. Brotherhood. Humanity. Thank you Brother Colin Kaepernick for showing us the way. It’s more than just a nostalgic remembrance of our struggles in times past. Anyone can claim our traditions in nostalgic terms. That’s easy. You demonstrate that genuine struggle means genuine sacrifice. But as a Christian, the cross is the thing. How much are we will to confront power for the love of God and people.