Colin Kaepernick to receive medal from Harvard University

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 03: Honoree Colin Kaepernick speaks onstage at ACLU SoCal Hosts Annual Bill of Rights Dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on December 3, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Colin Kaepernick is set to receive a medal at Harvard University in October.

Kaepernick will be among eight people receiving honors from the Ivy League university’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.

Harvard University announced plans to give Kaepernick the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal at the Hutchins Center Honors in Cambridge on Oct. 11.

The medal is known as “Harvard’s highest honor in the field of African and African American studies.”

“The medal honors those who have made significant contributions to African and African American history and culture, and more broadly, individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world,” Harvard said.

A Harvard press release recognizes Kaepernick for giving a $1 million donation to charities that serve oppressed communities, WBZ reports.

The former NFL athlete sparked public debate in 2016 when he began kneeling during the National Anthem at NFL games in an effort to raise awareness about racial injustices, including police brutality against African-Americans. While many support the athlete-turned-activist, others criticize him, claiming that kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful to the American flag and the U.S. military.

Kaepernick is only one of eight to received the award including comedian Dave Chappelle, philanthropist Kenneth Chenault, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson, philanthropist Pamela Joyner, psychologist Florence Ladd, social justice activist Bryan Stevenson and artist Kehinde Wiley.