Colin Kaepernick might not have a job with the NFL at the moment, but he got what might be the world’s best consolation prize tonight: A chance to meet Beyoncé, who appeared at the Sports Illustrated Sportsman Of The Year Awards today to present the former 49ers quarterback with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. The award recognizes an athlete who uses their public platform to effect social change; given both Kaepernick’s charitable donations, and the ways his actions have sparked a national protest movement within the NFL, drawing attention to #BlackLivesMatter and issues of police violence, he probably seemed like the obvious choice. He’s also received a great deal of pushback over the last year, though, both from NFL owners—who he’s suing for alleged collusion to keep him off a team—and Donald Trump, who’s used the NFL protests as his latest bludgeon in our ongoing culture wars.
Still, though: Beyoncé! That’s got to take off a little bit of the sting.