The former football player reacted to Floyd's death on social media Thursday, as images of him kneeling during the national anthem were recirculated in posts about the tragedy.
Floyd was arrested for suspicion of forgery outside a deli in Minneapolis earlier this week. Video of his arrest shows Floyd, who is black, repeatedly telling a white police officer kneeling on his neck that he couldn't breathe. The officer didn't let up for more than seven minutes, and according to CBS Minnesota, the 46-year-old was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Four officers were fired Tuesday for their roles in the incident, CBS News reports. The FBI is taking part in the investigation of the case, which has sparked outrage and protests.
"When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction," Kaepernick wrote on Instagram. "The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance."
"We have the right to fight back!" he added. "Rest in Power George Floyd."
LeBron James was just one of the stars who shared the striking side-by-side images following Floyd's death: one photo of the officer kneeling on Floyd's neck and the other of Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. The text "This... Is Why" appears above the photos in the post, which has since gone viral. "Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you??" James captioned it on his Instagram.
Kaepernick's kneeling -- which he has stated was in protest of racial inequality and police brutality -- made headlines in 2016. The San Francisco 49ers released the quarterback after that season, and he hasn't been signed by a team since, leading to allegations he was blackballed as a result of his political statements.
In October 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL, accusing league owners of collusion to keep him out of the league. The NFL requested to dismiss the case but was denied by an arbitrator, which meant the case would go to trial. It was announced in February 2019 that Kaepernick reached a confidential settlement with the NFL and withdrew the grievance.