Colin Kaepernick, Dr. Anthony Fauci To Receive Human Rights Awards

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Two of the most polarizing figures in the country will be honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights group for an award this year.

As the Hill reports, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, are expected to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award.

In a statement, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights credited the duo’s “courageous pursuit of equality and justice.”

“At a time when the courageous pursuit of equality and justice has become political and riddled with adversity, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights stands with these modern-day human rights defenders in their inspirational fight for progress,” the organization said.

Kaepernick and Fauci are joined by Dolores Huerta Foundation founder and president Dolores Huerta, PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman, and DocuSign CEODan Springer.

The Hill adds:

In a statement thanking the organization for the honor, Kaepernick recalled his experience watching musician and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte receive the same award in 2017.

“I am humbled to follow the footsteps of individuals like Mr. B and to be in the company of all the other laureates,” he said.

The group’s decision to honor Kaepernick comes as the nationwide debate around athletes kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice has reignited in recent weeks amid widespread demonstrations sparked by the police killings of George Floyd and other Black Americans.

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And:

The inclusion of Fauci as a Ripple of Hope Award laureate comes after the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was tapped by the White House earlier this year to help lead the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights President Kerry Kennedy praised the award recipients, saying they “give us a great hope for the future.”

The “country is yearning for leadership, for moral fortitude, for common decency and kindness, and this year’s Ripple of Hope laureates give us great hope for the future,” she said.

“Their work for equal justice touches every corner of society, sometimes at great personal cost,” Kennedy added via the Hill. “We are deeply honored to celebrate these changemakers, who have set forth countless ripples of hope at a time when our world is in such need of inspiration.”