Then: July 4, 2011.
Kaepernick was spending his rookie NFL season as the San Franciso 49ers' backup quarterback at the time.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) July 4, 2011
Happy 4th of july everyone I hope everyone has a blessed day
- He tweeted a similar July Fourth message the following year, after he took over as the starter.
Last July Fourth, Kaepernick reportedly got Nike, which he gets paid lucractively to represent, to cancel an Independence Day sneaker featuring the "Betsy Ross flag" over racism concerns.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) July 4, 2020
Black ppl have been dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized by America for centuries, & are expected to join your commemoration of “independence”, while you enslaved our ancestors. We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all. ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/YCD2SYlgv4
- In 2017, he celebrated "Unthanksgiving" with Native American activists, saying, "The US government has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people."
From 49er to activist: Kaepernick began his transition from NFL football player to professional activist in 2016 by kneeling during the national anthem at games to protest racism and police violence toward black Americans.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) May 28, 2020
When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction.
The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance.
We have the right to fight back!
Rest in Power George Floyd
Kaepernick's journey to wokeness has paralleled the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, which emerged in the Obama era and has only accelerated during Trump’s presidency.
- Many conservatives have said Obama “excacerbated racism” by being too deferential to activists who villified police and sought to reduce America to its legacy of racial discrimination.
- Peter Beinart, a left-wing political commentator, has argued that Obama ushered in a more progressive future, and that the country will only get more liberal.
- Conservatives and liberals alike have attributed the left's continued radicalization on race in part to fierce opposition to Trump.