Miami Dolphins fans greeted San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick with boos when he made it onto the field for Sunday’s game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Football rivals? Yes. But it didn’t help that Kaepernick made pro-Fidel Castro comments during a teleconference call Wednesday defending his choice three months earlier to wear a T-shirt depicting a meeting between Castro and Malcolm X with the words underneath, “Like minds think alike.”
“One thing Fidel Castro did do is they have the highest literacy rate because they invest more in their education system than they do in their prison system, which we do not do here,” he told a Miami Herald reporter on Wednesday.
A large portion of the Miami community is made up of Cuban exiles who suffered under Castro’s regime and risked their lives to flee to the U.S. Their outrage about Kaepernick’s support of a man many consider a heartless oppressor turned into a vocal protest when the quarterback took the field on Sunday.
“Colin Kaepernick should think long and hard about the message he’s sending,” Miami Judge Alex Ferrer told CNN. “We already know who Fidel Castro was. Cubans do, but you don’t have to be Cuban to know that he is a murdering thug, just like I don’t have to be black to know that the KKK is a massively racist organization.
“But what this tells us is who Collin Kaepernick is,” Ferrer continued. “You can’t on the one hand kneel in protest saying that you are for freedom for everybody and say that you are against systemic oppression and wear on your shirt a picture of the biggest oppressor in the world — a guy who executed people by firing squad without a trial, a guy who is responsible for the deaths of women and children by having his Coast Guard ram their boats as they try to flee the island that is apparently such a paradise that Collin wants to tout it.”
Asked what Castro would have done if Kaepernick didn’t stand for Cuba’s national anthem, Judge Ferrer said, “He would be beaten to a senseless pulp.”