If forward-thinking members of the media, racial justice aspirants and community organizers have any say in the matter, 2017 will not conclude without Colin Kaepernick resoundingly receiving his just due. Shortly after GQ named the peaceful protester “Citizen of the Year,” Sports Illustrated (SI) announced that he is the 2017 “Muhammad Ali Legacy Award” recipient.

SI’s selection occurs annually with the Ali family’s collaboration and blessing. Legacy earners are said to embody sportsmanship, leadership qualities and philanthropy, and treat sports as vehicles for global change. “I am proud to be able to present this to Colin for his passionate defense of social justice and civil rights for all people,” Lonnie Ali, Muhammad’s widow, told SI.

According to SI: “Like Muhammad, Colin is a man who stands on his convictions with confidence and courage, undaunted by the personal sacrifices he has had to make to have his message heard.” The publication also affirmed Kaepernick for his “steadfastness in the fight for social justice” and “adherence to his beliefs no matter the cost.”

Kaepernick consistently works for vulnerable populations. He financially backed immigrant assistance programs, gave out professional attire at a New York parole office, donated to Meals on Wheels and financially and personally supports several additional social justice initiatives.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is credited with regenerating broad discussion of police brutality and racist oppression of people of color because he took a knee a during the national anthem. He was the first NFL player to protest during the national anthem.

In late October, the public got wind of the free agent securing a $1 million book deal. While perspectives vary on Kaepernick’s strategies, from Black barbershops and beauty shops to the Chicago police force to the White House, supporters will happily wait to #BuyBlack when the Black Millennial man with a message spells it out in his book. These same supporters appreciate that SI honored an honorable man.

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