Kaepernick, Fauci will receive Kennedy human rights awards for “inspirational fight”

Sacramento Bee reports former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci are among those set to receive the 2020 Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award.

Other honorees include farm worker advocate Dolores Huerta, PayPal President Dan Schulman and DocuSign chief Dan Springer, according to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

“Our country is yearning for leadership, for moral fortitude, for common decency and kindness, and this year’s Ripple of Hope laureates give us great hope for the future,” said Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, according to a release this week.

The organization says it stands behind “these human rights defenders in their inspirational fight for progress.”

Kaepernick, a former 49ers quarterback who has gone unsigned by other NFL teams after he took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality, is a co-founder of Know Your Rights Camp.

“I am humbled to follow the footsteps of individuals like Mr. B and to be in the company of all the other laureates,” Kaepernick said, reflecting on Harry Belafonte’s 2017 award.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been a leading voice in the national fight against the global coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s ceremony will be held virtually Dec. 10 because of the pandemic, the group says.

The name of the award comes from a 1966 speech given by Kennedy in South Africa, in which he said, “each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, they send forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Other past Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope honorees include Barack Obama, Tim Cook, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Robert F. Smith, Nancy Pelosi, John Lewis, Hillary Clinton, Bono and Joe Biden.