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Kaepernick honoured with Amnesty International award

21 April 2018 22:00

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was honoured with Amnesty International’s 2018 Ambassador of Conscience Award on Saturday.

Kaepernick, who created controversy and started a movement by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games to protest against social inequality, was presented the award by former San Francisco 49ers team-mate Eric Reid at a ceremony in Amsterdam.

The award is presented annually to an individual who embodies the spirit of activism and courage.

Kaepernick, who has not played since 2016, delivered an acceptance speech calling police killings of African Americans and Latinos in the United States "lawful lynchings."

"Racialised oppression and dehumanisation is woven into the very fabric of our nation -- the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of black and brown lives in the prison industrial complex," Kaepernick said.

"How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates, 'freedom and justice for all,' that is so unjust to so many of the people living there?"

Kaepernick vowed to donate $1million to charities to help raise awareness, and he reached more than 30 organisations supporting various causes. 

A 49er from 2011-2016, Kaepernick joins the likes of late former South Africa president Nelson Mandela as having been given the award.

"In truth, this is an award that 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," Kaepernick said. 

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