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Kaepernick honoured with top award by Amnesty International

HONOURED: American football player Colin Kaepernick

AMERICAN FOOTBALL player and activist Colin Kaepernick has been named Amnesty International’s 2018 Ambassador of Conscience.

Kaepernick, who started the bended knee protest in 2016 when he was a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, hasn’t played professionally since opted out of his contract with the 49ers.

Amnesty International said: “We're honored to present athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick — who refused to ignore or accept racial discrimination — with the Ambassador of Conscience award. Thank you for your courage to act against injustice and inspire others!

“He confronted racial injustice. He refused to compromise. He inspired others.”

The 30-year-old started the protest in response to police brutality against black Americans.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people, and people of color," he said at the time.

Accepting the award at a ceremony on Saturday (April 21) Kaepernick said: “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. To quote Malcolm X, when he said that he, ‘will join in with anyone — I don’t care what color you are — as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth,’ I am here to join with you all in this battle against police violence.”

Kaepernick’s protests have sparked identical protests across America and some NFL players have also bended their knees during the national anthem. But public opinion in the country has been divided over what some saw as an insult to military veterans and the US.

One Twitter user said: “Now I wish the NFL would give him a chance. I think he can still be great at football also.”

Last November Kaepernick was named citizen of the year by GQ magazine.

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