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Harvard will honor Colin Kaepernick for contributions to African-American history and culture

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 23: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers kneels for the National Anthem before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Two years after he first took a knee on the football field, Colin Kaepernick will be awarded one of Harvard University’s highest honors.

Since choosing to protest police brutality, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been shunned by the NFL and most recently criticized by President Donald Trump for his role in a controversial Nike commercial.

On October 11, Kaepernick will receive the W.E.B Du Bois Medal, presented by Harvard’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.

Du Bois was an African-American writer and activist, best known for his seminal book “The Souls of Black Folk.”

Other Du Bois medalists this year include comedian Dave Chappelle and philanthropist Kenneth Chenault.

All the honorees are individuals who, according to a Harvard statement, have made significant contributions to African-American history and culture and are “individuals who advocated for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world.”

Previous honorees include Oprah Winfrey, Muhammad Ali and US Rep. John Lewis.

Earlier this year, Kaepernick was named Ambassador of Conscience by Amnesty International.