Beyonce Makes Surprise Appearance to Present Colin Kaepernick With Award

Colin Kaepernick - Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award - Getty - H 2017
Getty Images

The former quarterback received the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.

On Tuesday night, an entertainer whom Daily Show host Trevor Noah described as one of Colin Kaepernick's biggest fans, presented the former quarterback with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at the Sports Illustrated Sportspersons of the Year award show. That entertainer? Beyonce.

"Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion only hope to change the world for the better," she said. "To change perception, to change the way we treat each other, especially people of color. We’re still waiting for the world to catch up."

"I don't know if I could ask for a better introduction than from Trevor and obviously from Beyonce herself," Kaepernick said. 

He continued: "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 or without the NFL's platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people.” (Kaepernick has not landed with another team since leaving the San Francisco 49ers.)

Comedian Joel McHale hosted the event. During a pretaping routine, he joked about SI parent company Time Inc., which will be purchased by Meredith Corp. with backing from conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Speaking to the Time Inc. employees in attendance, McHale said the Koch brothers won't make any major editorial changes "besides firing all their editors and replacing them with the guy who shampoos their show horses." (Michael Bloomberg made his own Time Inc./Koch brothers joke at the Bloomberg 50 gala Monday night, saying that the Time 100 list was split into two "because the Koch brothers couldn't agree on a list.")

The biggest award of the night went to football player J.J. Watt and baseball player Jose Altuve for their efforts to help rehabilitate their city of Houston after the devastating flood in August.

The awards show was taped live Tuesday night and will be broadcast on television — for the first time — Friday on NBCSN and on Saturday on Univision Deportes Network.