Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick joined the annual “Un-Thanksgiving” protest Thursday by Native American activists at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz Island.
The demonstration is held each year to commemorate the occupation of Alcatraz in 1969 by Native American activists, which lasted until 1971 and which is credited with encouraging changes in the federal government’s policy toward “Indian affairs,” the East Bay Times reports.
As speakers denounced the “current-day American genocide,” Kaepernick received two eagle feathers in tribute from a Native American elder. He later tweeted about the experience:
Today, I was on Alcatraz Island at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering, in solidarity with those celebrating their culture and paying respects to those that participated in the 19 month occupation of Alcatraz in an effort to force to honor the Treaty of Fort Laramie. pic.twitter.com/KdNtY3dp72
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 24, 2017
“Our fight is the same fight. We’re all fighting for our justice, for our freedom,” Kaepernick told the demonstrators.
He added, according to the San Francisco Chronicle:
If there’s one thing that I take away from today and seeing the beauty of everybody out here, it’s that we’re only getting stronger every day, we’re only getting larger and larger every day. I see the strength in everybody.
The dancing, the rituals – that is our resistance. We continue to fight. We continue to fight for justice. We fight for our freedom, and we continue on that path.
Kaepernick remains a symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement, and inspired the wave of NFL protests against the national anthem — which in turn has provoked a fan boycott.
He has yet to be re-signed by a professional football team since being dropped last year.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.