Colin Kaepernick got a surprise from Queen Bey at Tuesday’s (Dec. 5) Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Awards. Beyoncé appeared onstage to present the former 49ers quarterback with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.

The award is given to an athlete who uses their platform to promote change. Beyoncé said to Kaepernick: "Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion only hope to change the world for the better. To change perception, to change the way we treat each other, especially people of color." Watch video below.

Kaepernick made headlines at the beginning of the 2016-17 NFL season when he refused to stand for the national anthem. The quarterback, as a result, started a movement for racial equality and social justice, inspiring other athletes and entertainers to speak out. Kaepernick was dropped by the 49ers early this year and hasn't been picked up by another NFL team since.

When the honor was first announced by the magazine, Muhammad Ali’s wife, Lonnie, noted, “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.”

Beyoncé herself is a fellow equality advocate, using her smash 2016 album, Lemonade, to fire back at police brutality and gender disparity. 

Photo: Getty Images