While Americans gathered together with family on Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took to social media to bash America while commemorating “Unthanksgiving Day” celebrations.
“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,” Kaepernick tweeted along with a video of his day’s activities.
According to Mother Jones, Native Americans gather on Alcatraz Island each year for “Unthanksgiving Day” to commemorate “Indigenous resistance.”
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This year’s gathering, though, was special: It marked 50 years since Bay Area Natives, having left reservations and flocked to cities, staked a claim to Alcatraz (where the infamous federal prison was decommissioned in 1963). On November 20, 1969, Indigenous activists began their 19-month occupation of the island—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.
Kaepernick’s Thanksgiving-hate came just two weeks after he worked out for seven NFL teams at an Atlanta-area high school after missing three season of football. The highly publicized and controversial workout resulted in zero interest from teams, ESPN later reported.