Harvard University is planning to honor the former NFL quarterback turned anthem-kneeling activist Colin Kaepernick with a medal next month.
The university plans to honor Kaepernick and seven others with the W. E. B. Du Bois Medal, which the university considers its “highest honor in the field of African and African American studies,” in a ceremony on October 11, WBZ reported Thursday.
“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 a statement.
Comedian Dave Chappelle and Kehinde Wiley, the artist who painted former President Obama’s presidential portrait, are also among the award’s recipients.
Harvard’s announcement comes weeks after Kaepernick, who has still not appeared on the NFL’s roster, appeared as a spokesperson in a Nike ad campaign featuring athletes who overcame obstacles such as injuries or disabilities to succeed.
Kaepernick can be heard in the ad sporting the slogan, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The ex-NFL player for the San Francisco 49ers became famous in August 2016 for kneeling during the national anthem to protest law enforcement, and many fans bristled at the idea of using someone who disrespected the national anthem as a spokesperson for an ad about sacrifice.