Former San Franciso 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made a rare public appearance on Sunday to accept the ACLU of SoCal Courageous Advocate award.
“We must confront systemic oppression as a doctor would a disease,” Kaepernick said during his acceptance speech. “You identify it, you call it out, you treat it, and you defeat it.”
The 30-year-old was honored for taking a stand “knowing he would risk his job,” according to the local group’s executive director Hector Villagra.
“He has lost his job, one that he loved and was supremely talented and skilled at,” Villagra told the Los Angeles Times. “He took a stand knowing that some would criticize him, and he has been viciously and unfairly criticized. He has been called a traitor because too many people in this country confuse dissent for disloyalty.”
Kaepernick was also named GQ’s “Citizen of the Year” last month. He will be honored again on Tuesday when he will receive the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at SI’s Sportsperson of the Year Award Show in New York.