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Kaepernick goes to Harvard

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Colin Kaepernick was given the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal at Harvard last week. He, along several others, including comedian, Dave Chappelle, and artist of the official Obama portrait, Kehinde Wiley, received the honor on October 11.

Kaepernick played quarterback for the 49ers until 2016 when he opted to become a free agent. He became a political icon in the 2016 season when he began kneeling instead of standing during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice in the United States. This sparked negative and positive reactions from millions across the country.

Since then, he has done much to further the movement for racial equality, including a Nike campaign with the headline “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

He asked for his speech not to be recorded, but Kaepernick allowed for it to be on the record at https://twitter.com/EricKaneTV/status/1050526929152077824 .

Before beginning, Kaepernick said that he had a speech prewritten, but he felt it was insincere and decided to speak from the heart.

He spoke about a football team at Castleton High School in Oakland, California. The entire team followed in his footsteps and kneeled during the national anthem a week after Kaepernick began his protests.

He spent game day with them, and in the locker room, he heard something said by one of the team members that astonished him “‘We don’t get to eat at home, so we’re going to eat on this field.’”

Kaepernick says how that moment has stuck with him and pushes him to continue his protests regardless of the backlash.

“That moment has never left me. And I’ve carried that everywhere I went. And I think that’s the reality of what I fought for, what so many of us have fought for. People live with this every single day. And we expect them to strive in situations where they’re just trying to survive.”

Kaepernick continued by calling himself and the audience to action and saying that it is everyone’s responsibility to fight for those less privileged. He ended the speech with a simple and strong statement.

“Love is the root of our resistance, and it will continue to be, and it will fortify everything that we do.”

Maya ANgelou, Oprah Winfrey, Muhammad Ali, and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga), a civil rights leader. The award is “in recognition of their contributions to African and African American culture and the life of the mind,” as reported by Washington Post.

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