Right-wing provocateur Candace Owens falsely claimed on Friday that former NFL quarterback and racial justice campaigner Colin Kaepernick is actually white and has tried to “rig the system” to enrich himself.
Owens tweeted the bizarre conspiracy theory days after Nike announced they were canceling the release of a special Fourth or July sneaker featuring the 1777-era Betsy Ross flag.
The sneaker was reportedly abandoned by the sportswear giant after Kaepernick, a Nike brand ambassador, and others noted that the Betsy Ross flag was used during a time when chattel slavery was still in place.
Owens weighed in on the debate, attacking both Kaepernick and writer and civil rights activist Shaun King on Twitter.
“I love how @shaunking who is white and @Kaepernick7 who is half-white, have raked in millions by continually telling black people that they are less than white people,” she wrote to her 1.5 million Twitter followers on Friday.
“Two white men claiming the system is rigged for whites, as they rig the system to enrich themselves is funny,” she concluded.
Two white men claiming the system is rigged for whites, as they rig the system to enrich themselves is funny.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) July 5, 2019
King has long been subjected to rumors about his race but has stated that his biological father was black. Kaepernick is of mixed race background. Neither he nor King are white.
Kaepernick has been a regular target for conservatives, including President Donald Trump, since he began protesting racial injustice by kneeling for the national anthem during NFL games in 2016. Earlier this year he settled a lawsuit against the NFL claiming that the league had blacklisted him from signing with any team due to his protests.