The wife of Sen. Bernie Sanders praised the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick for having “inspired respect” after his teammates voted to give him an award for courage at the end of a season where the quarterback made headlines for kneeling during the national anthem before games as a protest against police brutality and racial injustice.

“Thank you @Kaepernick7 You inspired respect, focused our thoughts on need 4 change thru your dignified stance/words,” Jane Sanders tweeted Friday night.

Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential election last year.

The prize, the Len Eshmont Award, is given to the player who “best exemplifies the ‘inspirational and courageous play’ of Len Eshmont,” according to the 49ers’ website. “A member of the original 1946 49ers team, Eshmont coached at Navy and Virginia following his playing days with the 49ers. Eshmont passed away in 1957.”

Kaepernick’s season-long protest has been praised by some as an appropriate response to injustice against African-Americans and mimicked by some fellow athletes. Others saw the protest as an insult to the men and women who have served in the armed forces. President-elect Trump took issue with the protest, calling it “terrible.”

“[M]aybe he should find a country that works better for him,” Trump said in August of last year.

Kaepernick has expressed some criticism of his own about not only Trump but also failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In September he called them both “proven liars and it almost seems like they’re trying to debate who’s less racist.”

“And at this point … you have to pick the lesser of two evils. But in the end, it’s still evil,” he said.

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