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ACLU of Southern California honors Colin Kaepernick

ACLU of Southern California honors Colin Kaepernick

The ACLU honored Kaepernick on Sunday at the organization's annual Bill of Rights Dinner in Beverly Hills, giving him the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award.

"We must confront systemic oppression as a doctor would a disease: you identify it, you call it out, you treat it, and you defeat it", Kaepernick said to a round of applause.

Kaepernick, who remains unsigned with an National Football League team, was the first player to kneel during the "Star-Spangled Banner" previous year in protest of police brutality and racial inequality. His name was not on the star-studded list of honorees released before the banquet that included Hollywood A-listers Jane Fonda, Viola Davis and Judd Apatow.

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For his part, Kaepernick said that all the negative comments he has gotten and all of the flak he has taken are nothing; he said that in taking a knee, he was merely carrying out his responsibilities. "He took a stand knowing that some would criticize him, and he has been viciously and unfairly criticized. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder". Those protests have become a political flashpoint between President Donald Trump, athletes and progressive groups, with conservatives heavily opposed to the protests.

"Keep kneeling until you can stand up", she said.

The ACLU award is not the first honor given this year to Kaepernick for his activism. Kaepernick, who remains a free agent, is scheduled to attend Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year Awards show on Tuesday in NY, where he will be presented with SI's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. He was also announced as one of the 10 candidates for TIME Magazine's Person of the Year for 2017.


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