Beyoncé presents the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award to Colin Kaepernick

Legends awarding legends.

Beyoncé made a surprise appearance at the Sports Illustrated Person of the Year ceremony to present Colin Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. The magazine announced that Kaepernick, whose decision to kneel during the national anthem while still a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers sparked widespread protests throughout the sports world and became a beacon in the Black Lives Matter movement, would receive the award last week.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion," Beyoncé said while presenting the award, "only hope to change the world for the better, to change perception, to change the way we treat each other, especially people of color. We're still waiting for the world to catch up."

In his acceptance speech, he told the crowd that "with or without the NFL's platform, I will continue to work for the people."

Previous winners of the award, which celebrates "individuals whose dedication to the ideals of sportsmanship has spanned decades and whose career in athletics has directly or indirectly impacted the world," include Magic Johnson and golfer Jack Nicklaus. In the magazine's dedication of the award, Michael Rosenberg wrote that "Kaepernick’s truth has been twisted, distorted and used for political gain."

"It has cost him at least a year of his NFL career and the income that should have come with it," Rosenberg went on. "But still, it is his truth. He has not wavered from it. He does not regret speaking it. He has caused millions of people to examine it. And, quietly, he has donated nearly a million dollars to support it."

On December 5, this post was updated to include additional comments from the ceremony.

Beyoncé presents the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award to Colin Kaepernick