If there's anyone the social media world loves to tweak, taunt, and criticize, it's Republican political commentator Tomi Lahren. Formerly a host with Glenn Beck's TheBlaze, and currently a Fox News contributor, Lahren has long been a target of liberals and progressives who aren't fond of her pro-Trump political broadsides. And that same, familiar feeling arose on Thursday, Nov. 23 ― Thanksgiving Day, as it happened. Basically, Lahren posted a photoshopped image of Colin Kaepernick kneeling on D-Day, and it really rubbed people the wrong way.
That's not to say everyone was offended, exactly. Some people were just having a good time poking fun at Lahren's expense. The photo she posted, in simple terms, was a photoshop of a kneeling Kaepernick passively watching American soldiers storm the beaches of Normandy, France on D-Day, sending American troops into Europe during World War II. The caption underneath the image reads "citizen of the year," a clear jab at GQ magazine's decision to give the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback the annual honor.
Kaepernick, 30, made headlines last year for initially sitting, then kneeling, during the performing of the national anthem. It was, to hear him tell it, a protest of police violence against black Americans, racism, and inequities in the criminal justice system. He's been a popular target for conservatives ever since, who've either attacked him for protesting the police, or have warped the narrative to suggest his intention is to attack the U.S. military. Lahren's photo seemed to take the latter approach.
Needless to say, Lahren got a pretty thorough roasting for the tweet, with the denizens of social media sparing no expense in raking her over the metaphorical coals.
In some cases, people responded that Lahren had misconstrued and misrepresented what Kaepernick's protest was actually about, portraying it as an attack on the military rather than a stand for racial justice.
Some people took it a little less seriously, however. Rather than making any kind of hard or serious point about the tweet, they instead mocked Lahren over it, taking some not-so-veiled shots at the 25-year-old conservative provocateur.
Despite being still in the ostensible prime of his career, and possessing better career numbers than some of the league's starting quarterbacks and virtually all the backups, Kaepernick has not been offered a new NFL job since his last contract expired. This has led many of his supporters to claim that he's been blackballed by the league, effectively forced out of his career as a result of his protest. Several NFL officials and executives have denied this, however.
While Lahren was taking shots at Kaepernick on Thanksgiving, the free agent quarterback was busy with yet more activism. Specifically, he returned to San Francisco for the Alcatraz Indigenous People's Sunrise Gathering, also sometimes known as "Unthanksgiving Day," an annual demonstration that's been held by Native American activists since 1975.
As detailed by The San Francisco Chronicle, the event is in remembrance of a Native American occupation of the former prison island that took place from 1969 through 1971, calling for the former prison island to be turned into a Native American cultural center. Kaepernick addressed the assembled activists during their early-morning gathering, and was reportedly well-received by the crowd.
In short, it seems as if he and Lahren spent their Thanksgiving holidays very differently, with, one performing solidarity-minded activism, and the other getting her anti-Kaepernick meme ready to send.
It remains to be seen if Kaepernick will ever find his way back to an NFL sideline, or whether his football career is effectively over ― he's currently pursuing legal action against the league over his ongoing unemployment, although whether that will prove fruitful is impossible to say.