Colin Kaepernick honored with Amnesty International award for inequality protests

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Kaepernick went on to question how anyone could stand for a national anthem that claims to value "freedom and justice for all" when it is clearly "unjust to so many" of its citizens.

BC-FBN-Netherlands-Kaepernick Honored, 1st Ld-Writethru, 285Colin Kaepernick honored by Amnesty for inequality protestsAP Photo PAPHQ636Human rights organization Amnesty International has honored former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick with its Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2018, lauding his peaceful protests against racial inequality.

After being introduced Saturday by former teammate Eric Reid, Kaepernick used his acceptance speech to restate why he chose to kneel during the national anthem throughout the 2016 NFL season.

Reid, a safety who now is a free agent, continued Kaepernick's protests by kneeling during the anthem last season.

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"Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation", Kaepernick said in his speech.

He hasn't been able to sign with another team since 2016, and during the 2017 season, President Trump reignited the controversy by criticizing players who kneeled during the anthem.

"We're thrilled to present athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick, who refused to ignore or accept racial discrimination, with the Ambassador of Conscience award".

"Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy", Kaepernick said.

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The award, given to Kaepernick in an Amsterdam ceremony, is handed out each year to "individuals and groups who speak out for justice", Amnesty says on its website, with an aim to "create debate, encourage public action and raise awareness of human rights issues".

The award is given to a person or organization "dedicated to fighting injustice and using their talents to inspire others".

In the announcement naming Kaepernick this year's victor, Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, wrote, "Just like the Ambassadors of Conscience before him, Colin Kaepernick chooses to speak out and inspire others despite the professional and personal risks".

"This is an award I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force", he stated. Past award recipients include Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai.

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