Colin Kaepernick continued his smooth transition from sports into activism Thursday during a historic night at Harvard University.
The historic medal recognizes those who work to advance African American progress and is named after the first man to earn a PhD from Harvard University. (RELATED: Harvard Strips Weinstein Of Award For His ‘Contributions’ To Black Culture)
During his acceptance speech, the controversial former quarterback expanded on his decision to kneel during the national anthem.
“I feel like it’s not only my responsibility, but all our responsibilities as people that are in positions of privilege, in positions of power, to continue to fight for them and uplift them, empower them,” he explained. “Because if we don’t, we become complicit in the problem. It is our duty to fight for them, and we are going to continue to fight for them.”
— Eric Kane (@EricKaneTV) October 11, 2018
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016, and is now in the process of suing the NFL for allegedly colluding to keep him out of the league. (RELATED: Kaepernick’s Collusion Hearings Kicked Off Today. Here’s What We Know)
Thank you Harvard University for honoring me tonight with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal. I’m grateful for this recognition and to be amongst the other highly esteemed honorees that inspire me.
Photo Credit: Amari Kenoly @foot_candles pic.twitter.com/plXOBuwBlF
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) October 12, 2018
Kaepernick made a splash just before the start of the NFL season this fall when Nike rolled him out as the face of its latest ad campaign, which urges consumers to “believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” He briefly touched on his collaboration with the brand during his acceptance speech.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
“I go to what recently happened with the Nike campaign where, to believe in something even it it means sacrificing everything quote became huge,” Kaepernick said. “As I reflected on that, it made me think of if we all believe something, we won’t have to sacrifice everything.”
Shortly after Nike announced Kaepernick as the face of their ad campaign, the stock hit an all-time high, which may indicate Kaepernick’s relevance is indeed here to stay.