Dr. Anthony Fauci and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick have been picked as laureates of this year's Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Awards.
The award honors "outstanding leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to social change, recognizing individuals across government, business, advocacy, and entertainment who have utilized their platform for the public good."
Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, drew national attention when he took a knee during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
Other NFL players quickly followed suit, and the demonstrations drew criticism from President Donald Trump, who at the time called on teams to fire the athletes.
Kaepernick was exiled from the league – he settled a collusion lawsuit with the NFL in 2019 – and later co-founded Know Your Rights Camp, a free campaign for youth advancing the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities.
Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, is the nation's top infectious disease expert.
He has advised six presidents on HIV/AIDS and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2008.
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