Colin Kaepernick receives Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2016 file photo, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left, and safety Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif. Reid says his Christian faith is the reason why he joined former teammate Colin Kaepernick in kneeling for the anthem. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(KRON) — Sports Illustrated announced Thursday that former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has earned the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.

Colin Kaepernick is carrying on the legacy of Muhammed Ali, according to the Ali family and Sports Illustrated.

The award is an honor given annually to athletes who demonstrate “the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy” and who use “sports as a platform for changing the world.”

“There will never be another Ali, but few athletes have followed his example as fully as Colin Kaepernick,” said SI Executive Editor Stephen Cannella.

Kaepernick began kneeling instead of standing during the national anthem last season to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

The demonstration sparked a wave of NFL protests by players during the anthem that repeatedly have been denounced by President Donald Trump. Kaepernick parted ways with the San Francisco 49ers in March and hasn’t been signed by another team.

Kaepernick has received a heavy dose of criticism from people who believe he’s disrespecting the flag, military and police.

In September, President Trump said that any player who kneels should be fired.

Kaepernick was also recently named GQ’s “Citizen of the Year.”

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