Sen. Lindsey Graham called Colin Kaepernick a “racist” on Sunday following the former 49ers quarterback’s critical comments about the United States amid escalating tensions with Iran.
“He’s a loser on and off the field,” Graham said during an appearance on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
I'm a big fan, but please don't compare Soleimani to the people abused by our government. This man brutalized and caused the deaths of thousands of people in Iraq and Syria. It would be insulting to the victims of police brutality over here to equate them with this war criminal.
— KovpakHorseman (@HorsemanKovpak) January 4, 2020
“It’s un-American. He’s a racist. If you’re looking for racism in America, Mr. Kaepernick, look in the mirror,” Graham added.
Kaepernick came under fire on Saturday for a tweet in which he appeared to characterize the U.S. air strike that killed Iranian military commander Qassemi Soleimani as an “American terrorist attack.”
“There is nothing new about American terrorist attacks against Black and Brown people for the expansion of American imperialism,” Kaepernick tweeted on Saturday afternoon.
In another tweet, the former NFL quarterback appeared to take a shot at the U.S. military and said America “has always sanctioned and besieged Black and Brown bodies both at home and abroad.”
“America militarism is the weapon wielded by American imperialism, to enforce its policing and plundering of the non white world,” Kaepernick said.
Political pundits, politicians and commenters on social media blasted Kaepernick, with many accusing him of harboring “un-American” sympathies.
Some accused the former NFL athlete of outright hypocrisy, citing his lucrative endorsement contract with Nike, a company not exactly known for its sterling treatment of marginalized and oppressed people.
Because everything is racist. Everything. Even fighting back against terrorists who kill Americans. Nike, feeling proud? https://t.co/sfc1Yz3phY
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) January 4, 2020
“Because everything is racist. Everything. Even fighting back against terrorists who kill Americans. Nike, feeling proud?” tweeted former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
Others were astounded by the lengths to which Kaepernick had gone to assert his “wokeness.”
“Imagine being so woke you start repping a genocidal maniac who murdered tons of blacks people in the name of black people. So woke you asleep,” tweeted writer Chloe S. Valdary.
Imagine being so woke you start repping a genocidal maniac who murdered tons of blacks people in the name of black people. So woke you asleep.
— Chloé S. Valdary ? (@cvaldary) January 4, 2020
“You can’t make this up. Colin Kaepernick accuses the U.S. of ‘terrorist attacks’ against non whites for killing a man who is responsible for the deaths of over 600 Americans. I think you should sit this one out, Colin. By the way, how is that NFL career going?” tweeted Andrew Pollack, father of Parkland shooting victim Meadow Pollack.
Graham also addressed remarks made by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who called President Donald Trump a “monster” after he declared Iranian cultural sites as potential military targets.
This is a war crime.
Threatening to target and kill innocent families, women and children – which is what you’re doing by targeting cultural sites – does not make you a “tough guy.”
It does not make you “strategic.”
It makes you a monster. https://t.co/IjkNO8BD07
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 5, 2020
“AOC doesn’t know anything about the law of armed conflict, obviously,” Graham told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday.