Harvard University awarded the prestigious W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The award is considered the "highest honor in the field of African and African American studies" and is given out to individuals to recognize "their contributions to African and African American culture and the life of the mind."
Kaepernick started a protest movement in 2016 after he took a knee during the national anthem prior to the start of a football game to protest police brutality and racial inequality. The protest quickly spread throughout the NFL, while athletes from other sports around the world took a knee in solidarity with Kaepernick.
Kaepernick's acceptance speech was not aired during the live stream of the event and the press was prohibited to take photographs due to his ongoing litigation with the NFL. A transcript of his speech was shared by WHDH reporter Eric Kane on Twitter.
In his short speech, the former NFL quarterback promised to continue to fight for justice against racial inequality and called on those in attendance to continue to protest and fight for those who do not have a voice of their own.
"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," Kaepernick said. "Because if we don't we become complicit in the problem."
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