Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci are among several who have been chosen to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization’s Ripple of Hope Award.
According to the organization’s website, the annual award “celebrates outstanding leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to social change, recognizing individuals across government, business, advocacy, and entertainment who have utilized their platform for the public good.”
“Our country is yearning for leadership, for moral fortitude, for common decency and kindness, and this year’s Ripple of Hope laureates give us great hope for the future,” Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights president Kerry Kennedy said in a statement, per their website. “Their work for equal justice touches every corner of society, sometimes at great personal cost. We are deeply honored to celebrate these changemakers, who have set forth countless ripples of hope at a time when our world is in such need of inspiration.”
While playing quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, Kaepernick became the first NFL player to kneel during the playing of the national anthem, starting a nationwide trend that has continued into 2020 as protesters demonstrate against police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
“In 2017, I was in the audience honoring Mr. Harry Belafonte as he accepted the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award,” said Kaepernick via statement. “I am humbled to follow the footsteps of individuals like Mr. B and to be in the company of all the other laureates. Thank you for this prestigious award.”
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, rose to national prominence as a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force. (RELATED: ‘More Off Base Than Your Average Epidemiologist’: Tucker Cites Dr. Fauci’s ‘Buffoon Level’ Mistakes, Questions ‘Powerful’ Role)
From the organization’s website:
The inspiration for the Ripple of Hope Award comes from Robert F. Kennedy’s most famous speech in 1966 when he visited South Africa during the worst years of apartheid: “Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, they send forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Other 2020 winners include United Farm Workers of America co-founder Dolores Huerta, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, and DocuSign CEO Dan Springer. Past winners include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.