New York, NY – Former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick said that the Fourth of July was a “celebration of white supremacy” according to his Twitter account.
“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,” Kaepernick tweeted July 4.
The post was viewed 3.6 million time as of July 5.
Kaepernick also posted a video of actor James Earl Jones reciting a speech by Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery in the 19th century and became an abolitionist.
Douglass’s speech is called, “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?”
On the same weekend in which Douglass gave that famous speech in 1852, a statue of him was toppled in Rochester, New York.
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that the Frederick Douglass statue was toppled from its base near the Genesee River.
The destroyed statue was left about 50 feet from its pedestal, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, according to police.
The Maplewood Park location includes Kelsey’s Landing, where Douglass and Harriet Tubman helped slaves escape to the north via the Underground Railroad.
Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since he quit in 2016. He was 3-16 in his final 19 starts.
The death of George Floyd has rekindled his chances of making an NFL team.
In June, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell encouraged teams to sign Kaepernick, according to ESPN.
At George Floyd’s funeral, Al Sharpton called for the NFL to give Kaepernick a job.
“The head of the NFL said, ‘Yeah, maybe we was wrong. Football players, maybe they did have the right to peacefully protest,'” said Sharpton, according to Sports Illustrated. “Well, don’t apologize. Give Colin Kaepernick a job back.”
Sharpton continued, according to Sports Illustrated: “Don’t come with some empty apology. Take a man’s livelihood. Strip a man down of his talents. And four years later, when the whole world is marching, all of a sudden you go and do a FaceTime, talk about you sorry. Minimizing the value of our lives. You sorry? Then repay the damage you did to the career you stood down, ’cause when Colin took a knee, he took it for the families in this building. And we don’t want an apology. We want him repaired.”
The former professional football player, who was once the league’s second-highest-paid quarterback, claimed when he started kneeling during the National Anthem that it was to protest police brutality against minorities.
Kaepernick then incorporated the flag into his protest. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said at the time.
He later went on to criticize the Betsy Ross Flag and the U.S. killing of a terrorist leader, suggesting it was racist.