Colin Kaepernick accepts Muhammad Ali Legacy Award from Beyonc

Colin Kaepernick receives the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award during the 'Sports Illustrated' 2017 Sportsperson of the Year ceremony on Dec. 5, 2017 at Barclays Center in New York City.
Image: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

Colin Kaepernick is on a roll. His latest accolade: an award from Beyoncé.

On Tuesday, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was presented with Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award by none other than Queen Bey.

“Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion,” said Beyoncé. “Only hope to change the world for the better. To change perception, to change the way we treat each other. Especially people of color.”

Kaepernick, who took a knee in protest of police brutality and sparked a national conversation back in August 2016, was given the award during Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year Awards in Brooklyn, New York, hosted by Trevor Noah. Named for the legendary boxer, the Ali Award celebrates individual athletes whose career impacts the world outside sports.

“I accept this award knowing that the legacy of Muhammad Ali is that of a champion of the people, and one who was affectionately known as the ‘People’s Champ,'” Kaepernick said.

“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 was named one of GQ magazine’s “Citizens of the Year” in November. And as recently as Sunday, he was honored at the ACLU of Southern California’s Bill of Rights dinner, with the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award

All this in spite of undeniable blackballing from the NFL itself.

Previous Ali Award winners include Magic Johnson, Jim Brown, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who congratulated Kaepernick during a video tribute at the awards.

“He fully embraced the risk to his career in order to remind Americans of the systemic racism that was denying African-Americans their opportunities to equal education, jobs, health and even their lives,” said Abdul-Jabbar, reported by ESPN.

Kaepernick receives the Ali Award from Beyoncé.

Image: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

Lonnie Ali, Muhammad’s widow, told Sports Illustrated she was proud to award Kaepernick the award, for his defense of social justice and civil rights.

“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. And he has used his celebrity and philanthropy to the benefit of some of our most vulnerable community members.”

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Rihanna’s third-annual Diamond Ball was a celebrity-filled spectacle and so much more

Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Clara Lionel Foundation

It was a wonderful night.

Jay-Z mingled with fellow tuxedo-clad guests. Beyoncé delicately dabbed her face with the finest of cloth napkins. Leonardo DiCaprio looked off in the distance as someone conversed with him. Kendrick Lamar handed me a microphone (yes, you read that right) and Cardi B’s four assistants gathered her dress to help the “Bodak Yellow” queen make her way through the ballroom full of tables at Rihanna’s third annual Diamond Ball.

In the middle of it all sat a 29-year-old Barbados born woman who needs no introduction, especially following the week she’s had launching an impressively successful (and inclusive) makeup launch and showing her Fenty Puma Spring 2018 collection during New York Fashion Week. 

With all that is going on in her life, it’s easy to forget that the Robyn Rihanna Fenty does more than set trends, release party anthems and design coveted sneakers. 

But she does—and Thursday night in New York City proved that she does it well. Despite the distracting shoulder rubbing that occurred throughout the slow evening, the ball was dedicated towards celebrating and raising funds for the extensive work of her Clara Lionel Foundation, an organization Rihanna created in 2012 and named in honor of her grandparents. 

The foundation focuses on a bevy of issues regarding education, emergency response, and health around the globe, aiming to improve “quality of life for young people everywhere.” Over the past five years, the small but mighty foundation has accomplished that through micro grant programs to financially support schools in Barbados, and contributed necessary equipment to improve cancer screenings on the island. 

This year, CLF has gone global. In addition to taking meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, CLF has partnered with international bike sharing company ofo, bringing bikes to aid accessibility to education for young girls in Malawi—where Rihanna herself visited the country as an ambassador for Global Partnership for Education, Global Citizen, and CLF. 

All future initiatives proved to become a reality thanks to the the ball’s host, Dave Chappelle, who bought a $180,000 Retna painting during the auction portion of the evening and the many more that stepped up to the plate to raise over $5 million for CLF to continue its work. The controversial comedian, who described the ball’s ambiance as an orgy he once went to, had the audience simultaneously gasping and guffawing at his remarks about touchy subjects that he handled with the grace you can come to expect from Chappelle—R. Kelly, Bill Cosby, and Donald Trump included. 

“This is Jenga, and that motherfucker is pulling all the middle blocks,” Chappelle said about the president.

The 44th president made an appearance as well. Barack Obama went out of his way to deliver a video message of support to Rihanna, praising her philanthropy efforts and offering up VIP tickets for an opportunity to join him and Michelle at the Obama Foundation Fall Summit in Chicago. The tickets, which came with Chapelle’s pocket square, sold for $275,000. 

The event also honored Angeline Murimirwa with the 2017 Diamond Ball Award, recognizing the Camfed Regional Executive Director for her extensive work towards improving education in Zimbabwe, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, and Malawi. 

Lamar and Calvin Harris (both previous collaborators with Rihanna) performed at the end of the night, eliciting dance moves from musicians, designers, models, and actors and providing a rare opportunity to let loose, all for the kids. 

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‘Beyonc Professor’ Kevin Allred, who wished someone would shoot Trump, rants about being FIRED

UPDATE: Allred has either deleted all of the tweets in this article or protected his account. Either way you can still read the content … Why would he go and do a thing like that? END UPDATE Remember Kevin Allred? Ok, so you may not … he is rather forgettable. That being said, a few weeks ago he tweeted this: Allred did delete the tweet, but not before many outlets (including Twitchy) were able to grab it and report it. Hey, if you’re unhappy with the president by all means, complain. But don’t say stupid shiznit about wanting him shot.

On that note, it would appear Montclair State fired Allred before he even really began teaching there … and he ranted about it on Twitter:

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Yes, pregnant women can do amazing things. Get over it.

An elite athlete who also happens to be pregnant.
Image: Getty Images

Hi. It is 2017. Are we really still amazed that women are capable of working while pregnant?

News broke Wednesday that actress Gal Gadot was five-months pregnant while she did re-shoots for Wonder Women. She did the required stunts and even had a cutout in her armor for her protruding belly, which was covered in green so they could edit it out later. And, of course, there was last week’s revelation that Serena Williams was eight-weeks pregnant while winning the Australian Open in January.

The reactions to this news have largely been breathlessly amazed. Gal Gadot has been heralded as a literal Wonder Woman and was also called a “Friggin’ Superhero.” And Twitter erupted into a frenzy after learning that Serena had a baby on board for her latest victory.

Of course there have been plenty of other bizarre reactions to pregnant celebrities who continue to work. There was the Amal Clooney affair, when she showed up to give up a speech at the UN about ISIS and instead her baby bump got all the attention. We probably don’t even need to run through all the attention Beyonc has gotten for performing (as well as opting not to perform) while pregnant.

It’s not that all these women aren’t crazy impressive on so many levels. Serena Williams is obviously the greatest of all time, but winning the Australian Open would have been a huge accomplishment by any measure whether she was pregnant or not. Same goes for superstar human rights lawyers and superhuman entertainers.

But the thing all these women have in common is that they are just doing their jobs. Newsflash: Pregnant women do that all day, every day all across the world. Its not especially mind-blowing to learn that we can do things while carrying a child (or children, in Beyonce and Amal’s case) that we could also do before getting knocked up.

Image: giphy

Pregnancy is not a disease; it does not automatically destroy you or transform you into a mindless baby machine. It’s a miracle et cetera et cetera, but its also something that our bodies have evolved to handle. (Well, if you can call three straight months of vomiting handling something.)

Some people feel just fine totally normal or better than normal, even while with child. Others become debilitatingly sick. But what you’re capable of doing or willing to do during pregnancy depends on a zillion factors.

It’s great that Serena Williams and Gal Gadot and others like them felt up to a physical challenge. But it doesn’t make them ultimate badasses so much as it makes them incredibly lucky lucky to have a healthy pregnancy that allows them to be up to working, lucky to be at the top of their fields and to have a choice about whether or not they want to work during pregnancy at all.

There are plenty of women who have no choice but to show up to work (lest they lose their only source of income) and pull a 12-hour shift standing on their feet the entire time. It doesn’t matter if they’re up to it. And there are many more that endure all manner of even more hellish conditions. They might feel like Wonder Woman after surviving the day, but no one heralds them as badasses. No one considers their health or discomfort, no one accommodates them.

In theory there’s nothing especially wrong with calling one pregnant celebrity a badass. But it all adds up; the more we normalize the idea that being super fit and active during pregnancy is the ultimate form of success, the more it makes regular people who can’t pull that off while with child feel like they’re falling short. It’s the same thing that happens when we fetishize the post-baby bodies of celebrities.

Image: giphy

It’s a subtle message, but it’s a pressure many people who’ve been pregnant absorb. Others feel free to judge you and just generally be up in your business more than at almost any other time in your life. And whether they’re deeming you amazing or a terrible failure, you shouldn’t have to hear it. You’ve got enough going on.

There is a more pernicious element in all this, too: it reinforces the idea that pregnant women should be up to any challenge and don’t need any accommodation. If Serena can win a tennis tournament while expecting, you can show up for your waitressing shift with no complaint. If Wonder Woman can do her own stunts, you can sit at your desk and crank out spreadsheets.

Wrooooooooong! Pregnant women can be tough, clearly. The process of giving birth is probably the toughest act known to mankind. But the ability to gut it all out shouldn’t be the default expectation of all child-bearers everywhere. You shouldn’t have to worry that you’ll be seen as lazy or unprofessional if your body demands a break while you’re pregnant and you certainly shouldn’t have to worry about losing your job.

Basically, what pregnant women want is what any woman any person wants: to be allowed to do what they’re capable of doing on any given day, without everyone weighing in on whether they’ve done it right. And for a lot of them that involves continuing to do their job without any particular fanfare or special attention.

So whether you’re winning your umpteenth tennis title or you simply managed to muster the energy to get out of bed in the morning, it should be fine. You shouldn’t also have to feel like you need to say trim or ripped or be styled like a Kardashian or whatever it is.

Motherhood is not a competition, and theres no right or better way to be pregnant. You’re growing a freaking human being inside of you. That’s badass enough.

WATCH: Why Kate Winslet and other celebs are painting their stomachs

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