Kaep presented with W.E.B. Du Bois Medal at Harvard.
Colin Kaepernick was awarded the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal by Harvard University on Thursday. The medal is described as "Harvard's highest honor in the field of African and African American studies" and is awarded "to individuals in the United States and across the globe in recognition of their contributions to African and African American culture and the life of the mind."
Kaepernick accepted the award at a special ceremony at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge on Thursday night, but requested that the media not record or broadcast his speech.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the live stream of the award presentation cut out when Kaepernick stepped on stage to address the crowd, while the following message appeared on the live stream: "Due to the current litigation of W.E.B. DuBois medalist Colin Kaepernick," the stream read, "no press photography or video livestream will be allowed of his remarks."
That said, Kaepernick did allow his remarks to be on the record. He began by saying, "As I was sitting there, and I was thinking about what I was going to say up here, I had a short speech written but it just didn't seem true to what it should've been with the authenticity and the passion and the inspiration that's in this room."
He proceeded to share a story from the week after he first took a knee during the national anthem, and how a visit to a high school in Oakland reaffirmed his stance. "I feel like it's not only my responsibility, but all our responsibilities as people that are in positions of privilege, in positions of power, to continue to fight for them and uplift them, empower them," Kaepernick said. "Because if we don't we become complicit in the problem. It is our duty to fight for them and we are going to continue to fight for them."