Colin Kaepernick was honored with Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award on Tuesday evening and a very special surprise guest made an appearance just in time to present him with the award. Daily Show host Trevor Noah told the audience that he had "a friend who admired Colin Kaepernick so much she asked me to sneak her in," before bringing none other than Beyoncé onstage, USA Today reports.
"Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion, 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," Beyoncé said during her presentation of the award, as reported by Rolling Stone.
Watch her full intro here:
Beyoncé makes a surprise appearance at the Sports Illustrated Person of the Year event to present @Kaepernick7 with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. pic.twitter.com/87y4exrtes— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@Bey_Legion) December 6, 2017
"I accept this award knowing that the legacy of Muhammad Ali is that of a champion of the people, and one who was affectionately known as the 'People's Champ,'" Kaepernick said in his acceptance speech. "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."
'With or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people'@Kaepernick7 receives SI's Muhammad Ali Legacy award #Sportsperson https://t.co/3wqaUVYZnf pic.twitter.com/dKJNX0d8vi— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 6, 2017
According to E!, The Muhammad Ali Legacy Award is given to athletes "who [use] their platform to promote change." Kaepernick made waves in 2016 when he knelt during the National Anthem. At the time, he was signed with the San Francisco 49ers. This year, he remains unsigned and many believe it's due to the controversy he sparked by kneeling.
But unsigned or not, Kaepernick has been an influential figure in 2017. Dozens of NFL players have followed his lead and opted to "Take A Knee" in protest of racial inequality in America — and even celebrities joined in by posting photos of themselves taking a knee in a show of solidarity.
Kaepernick is also allegedly on the shortlist for Time's Person of the Year, but he has yet to tweet that "probably is no good!"