On Thanksgiving Day, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick spoke at the “Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony,” also known as “Unthanksgiving,” on Alcatraz Island.
The event appeared to serve as a rebuke to the holiday and the United States.
“Spent the morning at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony on the 50 year anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz,” Kaepernick tweeted on Thanksgiving day.
“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.”
“It’s been 50 years since the occupation,” Kaepernick said. “And that struggle has continued for that 50 years … It’s our responsibility to honor our ancestors and honor our elders by carrying on that struggle. Don’t let their sacrifices be in vain. That’s why it’s important for all of us to be here today — to show that we’re together, that we’re unified, that we have that solidarity. And I hope to spend many more of these with you.”
Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar went on the attack against “those who dream of a white America,” for rejecting Kaepernick and treating him like a “Black Grinch.”
The NBA great blasted Fox News and The Blaze for “editorializing” about Kaepernick’s tweet and making sure their “readers don’t have to burden themselves with thinking.” He also accused whites of hating Kaepernick because he opposes “White Christmas American values.”
“Technically, pointing out a fact isn’t “bashing.” America’s forefathers did indeed steal the land from the indigenous people, often over their dead bodies. Just as indigenous people stole land from other tribes. That’s just historical fact. Like pointing out to grandpa that his zipper is open. I’m not bashing him, just stating a truth. So, why the panicky attacks on Kaepernick? Clearly, there’s something much more insidious going on here: the sustained attempt to steal Kaepernick’s political voice by characterizing him as un-American. The Black Grinch who wants to steal White Christmas American values.”
“The irony is that the moral values that determined King’s crusade were rooted in his devotion to Christianity, not communism. Yet, it was mostly Christians who rejected their own supposed beliefs because they were espoused by a black man who literally embodied Jesus’s teaching of turn-the-other-cheek. History has taught us over and over that religious values are quickly abandoned when they conflict with economics or traditional social norms.”
Abdul-Jabbar exclaims racists have been trying to “drown out Kaepernick’s voice by shouting unfounded personal insults” at him since he first began protesting against the country in 2016.
“Kaepernick’s highly publicized tryout last month did not seem designed to seriously consider him for readmittance into the NFL. Instead, it looked like a media-savvy sham-show to make the NFL look like the good guys while destroying Kaepernick’s credibility as an athlete and therefore as a spokesman for anything, be it social justice or Nike.”
“For much longer than 50 years people have been ordering truth-tellers to shut up and punishing them when they refuse. I’m sure their tactics have silenced some athletes. Not all. They can never silence all because the kind of grit it takes to become an athlete is the same kind it takes to place truth above self-interest. But they sure will keep on trying as long as they get paid to pander to those who wrap themselves in the pretty colors of the flag rather than the bold words of the Constitution.”