Human rights organization Amnesty International recognized athlete and anti-police violence activist Colin Kaepernick with its Ambassador of Conscience award. Kaepernick, accompanied by former teammate Eric Reid, accepted the award at a ceremony in Amsterdam on Saturday (April 21).
“The Ambassador of Conscience award celebrates the spirit of activism and exceptional courage, as embodied by Colin Kaepernick," Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty said in a statement. "He is an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination."
The statement notes that Reid, the first of Kaepernick’s teammates to join his kneeling protest, introduced and presented the award to Kaepernick. "Colin didn’t kneel in protest of a song or symbolic piece of fabric, but he knelt to bring awareness to the human rights still being denied to people of color," Reid said in his opening remarks.
"This is an award that I share with all the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force," Kaepernick said in his acceptance speech.
Watch a portion of Kaepernick and Reid’s remarks below:
Both free agent players now struggle to secure spots with teams that reportedly wanted them to commit to not protesting during the upcoming National Football League season as a condition of being signed.