By Alanna Vagianos
The medal is given to people who have “made significant contributions to African and African-American history and culture” as well as “individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights,” according to Harvard’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.
In his acceptance speech, Kaepernick spoke about members of a high school football team he met in Oakland, California.
“I went to go visit these young brothers and spend game day with them and I’m in the locker room with them, they’re getting ready, they’re getting prepped,” Kaepernick said, according to Boston reporter Eric Kane. “And one of the young brothers says, ‘We don’t get to eat at home, so we’re going to eat on this field.’ That moment has never left me. And I’ve carried that everywhere I went.”
“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,” he went on. “Because if we don’t, we become complicit in the problem.”