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Beyonce presents Kaepernick with SI's Muhammad Ali Award

This Dec. 24, 2016 photo shows San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick talking during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams. Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners following his protests during the national anthem. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Colin Kaepernick accepted Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award from Beyonce on Tuesday night and promised that "with or without the NFL's platform, I will continue to work for the people."

Beyonce thanked Kaepernick for his "personal sacrifice," and 2016 Ali Award winner Kareem Abdul-Jabbar called Kaepernick a "worthy recipient" during a video tribute.

Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem last season to protest racial inequality and police brutality. The demonstration sparked a wave of protests by NFL players during the anthem that repeatedly have been denounced by President Donald Trump. Kaepernick parted ways with the San Francisco 49ers in March and hasn't been signed by another team.

He spoke Tuesday about fulfilling Ali's legacy, saying the boxing great and activist "mentored me without ever meeting me."

Kaepernick skipped the red carpet prior to the show and was not available for questions. The show will be broadcast Friday night on NBC Sports Network.

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