They’re paying homage to his social justice work!
Colin Kaepernick is set to receive an honorary degree from Morgan State University (MSU), The Hill reports.
Almost six years ago, Kaepernick was playing professional football for the San Francisco 49ers when he decided to kneel during the national anthem, bringing awareness to police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. The gesture sparked a wave of backlash and controversy, many supporting Kaepernick, while others felt he should be punished for the act, hurling vulgarity publicly towards players who protested.
Kaepernick was subsequently blackballed from the league, teams refusing to pick him up despite his success on the field, sparking a years-long lawsuit launched by the quarterback against the league. To date, Kaepernick has still been training, waiting for at least one team to give him an honest shot. The now 34-year-old football player says he has “unfinished business” with the NFL.
“You had those dreams from when you’re a kid. I’m [gonna] be a NFL player and I’m gonna win a Super Bowl. And for me, I have unfinished business on that front,” Kaepernick explained during a recent podcast appearance.
During his time off the field, Kaepernick has devoted an immense amount of effort to amplifying the message he was trying to send when he initially took that first kneel, galvanizing a nation around activism and speaking out for marginalized and underserved communities. For his work, he has received several accolades including being named GQ’s Citizen of the Year, being named Amnesty International's Ambassador of Consciousness, and receiving Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois medal for his contributions to Black history and culture.
Now Morgan State University is awarding Kaepernick with an honorary degree for his activism. This week, the Baltimore-based HBCU announced that Kaepernick would receive a degree “honoring vanguards of social justice and the African American experience.” The quarterback will receive his honorary degree alongside filmmaker David E. Talbert and former Obama administration Small Business Advisory Council member, David Burton, both Talbert and Burton alums of the University.
“Leadership, Integrity, Innovation, Diversity, Excellence and Respect are more than just words that appear on the flags that adorn our campus, or words that we utter casually when reciting our core values, they represent the embodiment of who we are and what a Morgan graduate stands for…We have assembled a trio of diverse voices who have bravely stood - and kneeled - for the betterment and advancement of the voiceless, the marginalized and the disenfranchised…We are absolutely thrilled to bestow honorary degrees…for their individual, and collective, contributions to the progression of the Black narrative and pursuit of excellence, said MSU President David Wilson via statement.
Kaepernick is quite deserving of the honor and the future is still full of possibilities for the quarterback. Just recently, Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis said he would love to have the quarterback on his team.
“I believe in Colin Kaepernick. He deserves every chance in the world to become a quarterback in the National Football League... If our coaches and general manager want to bring him in or want him to be the quarterback on the team, I would welcome him with open arms,” said Davis.
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Winter/WireImage