Among the eight people lined up to be honored by Harvard University in October is the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who will be receiving the university’s W. E. B. Du Bois Medal on Oct. 11, according to a local CBS affiliate.
The award is called “highest honor in the field of African and African American studies“ in a statement released by the local station and will receive those who have made a major contribution to African and African-American history and culture.
“The medal honors those who have made significant contributions to African and African American history and culture, and more broadly, individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world,” the university said in the statement.
This was pronounced weeks after Nike presented Kaepernick in their new ad campaign, who was the first NFL player taking a knee during the national anthem before games as a way of protesting against racial inequality and police brutality.
In the new Nike ad, Kaepernick says, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” The athlete stays a free agent quarterback, and after becoming the face of the protest movement he wasn’t able to find a job in the NFL since the end of the 2016 season.
Due to the endorsement deal with Kaepernick, they faced a severe public backlash from critics of the athlete’s taking knee protests, including President Trump who has always been outspoken in his criticism against anthem protests.
Other recipients of the Harvard award include Dave Chappelle and Kehinde Wiley, the artist behind former President Obama’s presidential portrait.
“In the year of the 150th anniversary of his birth, W. E. B. Du Bois would be proud of the eight individuals being recognized at this year’s Hutchins Center Honors,” center director Henry Louis Gates Jr. said in a statement obtained by the local station.