Colin Kaepernick made a rare public appearance last night to attend the ACLU's Bill of Rights dinner and accept the Courageous Advocate award. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback used his speech to address society's responsibility to advocate for equality, telling the crowd:

"We must confront systemic oppression as a doctor would a disease. You identify it, you call it out, you treat it, and you defeat it. We all have an obligation no matter the risk, and regardless of reward, to stand up for our fellow men and women who are being oppressed with the understanding that human rights cannot be compromised."

Related I Donald Trump's Divisive NFL Comments Spark Protests from Athletes

ACLU Southern California executive director Hector Villagra reportedly told the crowd, which included Jane Fonda, Viola Davis and Judd Apatow, that Kap "took a stand knowing he would risk his job."

You can watch Kaepernick's ACLU speech, below:

It was also announced today that Kaepernick is a finalist for TIME magazine's Person of the Year cover story, joining a shortlist that includes Dreamers, the #MeToo movement, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, among others.

Image via Getty

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