Each year, Sports Illustrated and the Ali family honor a figure who embodies the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy and has used sports as a platform for changing the world. The recipient of this year's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award is Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick's consistent fight for social justice, his generous donations which have nearly reached $1 million, and the movement he has spearheaded are all reasons why he was chosen for the 2017 Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, according to Sports Illustrated.

“I am proud to be able to present this to Colin for his passionate defense of social justice and civil rights for all people,” says Lonnie Ali, Muhammad’s widow. “Like Muhammad, Colin is a man who stands on his convictions with confidence and courage, undaunted by the personal sacrifices he has had to make to have his message heard. And he has used his celebrity and philanthropy to the benefit of some of our most vulnerable community members.”

Colin Kaepernick has not played in the NFL at all this season but the protests he started a season ago raised awareness and started the conversation about how we can achieve social reform. Last month, Kaepernick was honored by GQ Magazine as the "Citizen of the Year" for his efforts off the field.

As a result of Kaepernick's protest, the NFL recently proposed partnering with its players to effect social justice change, and the league has submitted a proposal that would donate nearly $100 million to causes considered important to African-American communities.