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Beyonce made an unexpected appearance at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year event on Tuesday night to present Colin Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.
Beyonce’s presence, nor her role in the awards ceremony, had been announced, but she walked onto stage to hand over the hardware to Kaepernick:
Trevor Noah, the host of “The Daily Show,” introduced the award, before bringing Beyonce on stage. Kaepernick, after receiving a standing ovation, then gave a brief speech:
“I say this as a person who receives credit for using my platform to protest systemic oppression, racialized injustice and and the dire consequences of anti-blackness in America,” Kaepernick said. “I accept this award not for myself, but on behalf of the people. Because if it were not for my love of the people, I would not have protested. And if it was not for the support from the people, I would not be on this stage today. With our without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people.”
Kaepernick had previously been announced as the winner, but Beyonce’s appearance was kept a secret. Sports Illustrated editor Adam Duerson tweeted that, due to the contract, event organizer’s couldn’t even mention her name in internal documents:
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