Colin Kaepernick slammed the United States as a “stolen” country after attending an “Unthanksgiving Day” celebration in San Francisco.
In a Thursday night tweet, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback accused America of stealing billions of acres of land from “Indigenous people.”
“Spent the morning at the Indigenous on the 50 year anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz,” he said. “The US government has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people. Thank you to my Indigenous family, I’m with you today and always.”
Kaepernick’s tweet included a slickly edited video of his remarks that morning at the annual “Unthanksgiving Day” gathering on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. As fellow participants performed Indian rituals, Kaerpernick recalled the 1969 occupation of the island by indigenous activists.
Spent the morning at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony on the 50 year anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz. The US government has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people. Thank you to my Indigenous family, I’m with you today and always.✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/6cTuktUlQN
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 28, 2019
According to Mother Jones, the 19-month occupation of the island was “a watershed moment for Native organizing that pushed President Richard Nixon to end the brutal ‘termination’ era, during which over 100 tribes lost federal assistance. The occupation sparked a chain reaction of radical organizing that continues to this day.”
“While remembering that occupation, Unthanksgiving Day also honors a much more expansive legacy of Indigenous resistance, one spanning more than 500 years,” the left-wing magazine added.
How Colin Kaepernick got to “Unthanksgiving Day”
Kaepernick, 32, has recently staged an attempted NFL comeback of sorts after three seasons out of the league. In 2016, with his career in decline, he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans, inspiring fans of social justice and angering critics, including President Donald Trump.
Kaepernick — who got a lucrative Nike endorsement deal in 2018 — has claimed the NFL is blackballing him over his activism.
However, on Nov. 16, Kaepernick at the last minute cancelled a scheduled tryout for about 25 NFL teams in Atlanta. Instead, he held his own workout for the media at a nearby high school.
Kaepernick showed up wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “Kunta Kinte,” the name of a fictional American slave made famous by the 1977 “Roots” TV miniseries. He told assembled reporters that he is ready to play “anywhere” in the NFL, but said the league is “running.”
“I’ve been ready for three years, I’ve been denied for three years. We all know why,” he said. “So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams and [league commissioner] Roger Goodell to stop running. Stop running from the truth, stop running from the people.”
Afterward, Kaepernick’s agent, Jeff Nalley, told ESPN that he sent footage of the quarterback’s recent workout to all 32 NFL teams. But he said “none of them have had any interest.”
According to ESPN’s Howard Bryant, Nalley also said Kaepernick is considering following the NFL owners to their March meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, and holding a second workout nearby.
Nalley did not respond to Pluralist’s request for comment at the time.