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Beyoncé lauds Colin Kaepernick's 'personal sacrifice' as she presents him with Muhammad Ali award

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Musician Beyoncé Knowles thanked former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his "personal sacrifice" while she presented him with Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at the 2017 SI Sportsperson of the Year Show on Tuesday night.

What did Beyoncé say?

Beginning her speech, Knowles said, "Thank you, Colin Kaepernick, thank you for your selfless heart and your conviction, thank you for your personal sacrifice."

"Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion, only hope to change the world for the better," she continued. "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."

Knowles noted that some believe protesting racism is protesting America itself.

"It's been said that racism is so American that when we protest racism, some assume we're protesting America," she explained. "So let's be very clear: Colin has always been very respectful of the individuals who selfless serve and protect our country and our communities and our families."

She added, "His message is solely focused on social injustice for historically disenfranchised people. Let’s not get that mistaken."

What did Kaepernick say?

Thanking his supporters, Kaepernick vowed to continue his protest movement — "with or without the NFL's platform."

"I accept this award knowing that the legacy of Muhammad Ali is that of a champion of the people," he began. "And one who was affectionately known as 'The People's Champ.'"

He continued, "I say this as a person who receives credit for using my platform to protest systemic oppression, racialized injustice, and the dire consequences of anti-blackness in America."

"America is not living up to what America professes to be," he added.

"I accept this award, not for myself, but on behalf of the people," Kaepernick said. "Because if it were not for my love for 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," Kaepernick vowed. "Because my platform is the people."

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