NBCSN, Univision to televise Muhammad Ali award ceremony for Colin Kaepernick | Programming | News | Rapid TV News
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Time Inc has awarded controversial NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick with its Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, which will be presented during a special to be televised nationally for the first time.

kap 1 dec 2017The Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award goes each year to an athlete or sports figure who embodies the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy and uses sports as a platform to change the world. SI will feature Kaepernick’s charitable efforts in its upcoming Sportsperson of the Year issue. The special will air on NBCSN and the Univision Deportes Network.

Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013, is known off the field as an advocate for change in communities and as an inspiration to a new generation of civic-minded athletes and citizens. Over the past year he has donated $1 million to dozens of local charities from Oakland to New York City. He has also inspired controversy by taking a knee during the national anthem last year, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. He is no longer playing in the NFL — a state of affairs that his supporters attribute to blackballing by the league owners, and that his detractors say is a lack of talent.

“Muhammad Ali’s enduring legacy is built around the ideals of equality and individual expression and the importance of standing behind one’s beliefs regardless of the cost,” said SI executive editor Stephen Cannella.

“There will never be another Ali, but few athletes have followed his example as fully as Colin Kaepernick. In this noisy political and media environment, it’s easy to forget his core message: that all people in this country deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and recognition of their civil rights. Too often that message has been lost in the debate over how it is expressed. Colin has sacrificed much in the name of that message, even as he has furthered it with significant charitable efforts that are making a real difference in communities at the grassroots level.”

Each year, Lonnie Ali, Muhammad Ali’s widow, consults with SI’s editorial staff in the selection of the Legacy Award, and Mrs Ali will attend the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Awards show.

“I am proud to be able to present this year’s SI Muhammad Ali Legacy Award to Colin Kaepernick for his passionate defence of social justice and civil rights for all people,” said Ali. “Like Muhammad, Colin is a man who stands on his convictions with confidence and courage, undaunted by the personal sacrifices he has had to make to have his message heard. He has used his celebrity and philanthropy to benefit of some of our most vulnerable community members. I know the Ali family joins me in congratulating Colin as he receives the 2017 SI Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.”

The telecast is being produced by Time Inc Productions, the company’s television production division, which has tapped JASH, a Group Nine company, to co-produce. Highly regarded producers Robert Morton and Daniel Kellison will serve as executive producers.