Tuesday night, when Sports Illustrated presented Colin Kaepernick with its Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, the protesting quarterback was in for a big surprise—Beyoncé did the honors.
Bey was brought out as a surprise presenter by comedian Trevor Noah, and course, the internet promptly lost its collective mind, for various reasons. Some were super excited to see Bey presenting the award, given her continued support social justice issues. Others were just happy to see her, and her generous, er, assets post-babies. But really, it was her short presentation speech that was the most powerful.
“Colin took action with no fear consequence or repercussion,” Beyonce said. “Only hope to change the world for the better. To change perception, to change the way we treat each other. Especially people color.”
But her most impactful line the short speech was when she said, "It's been said that racism is so American, that when we protest racism, some assume that we're protesting America," and then proceeded to explain how Kaepernick loves country but simply wants to be treated justly.
Last year's winner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said Kaepernick was a "worthy recipient" because his peaceful national anthem protests.
“He fully embraced the risk to his career in order to remind Americans the systemic racism that was denying African Americans their opportunities to equal education, jobs, health and even their lives,” Abdul-Jabbar said.
Following his protests, which was sparked by the desire to end police violence against black people, Kaepernick was essentially blackballed by the NFL, remaining unsigned for the 2017 season.
“The footprints he leaves are large,” Kaepernick said, “and his life is and has been a multi-textured tapestry that is rich in love, wisdom, life lessons and human kindness. I can only hope that I’m taking steps toward walking on the footsteps that he has left behind for the world to follow.”
Of course, Twitter had a field day with not only Kaep's honoring, but with the Bey sighting, as she's been relatively quiet this year after giving birth to twins. Check out some the best responses below.