Society

Miami Stadium Boos Colin Kaepernick Over Castro Praise

| by Denise Recalde

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who controversially wore a T-shirt depicting an image of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in August, and declared supporting statements of the dictator on Nov. 23 and Nov. 25, was loudly booed on Nov. 27 in Miami as he took the football field to play the Dolphins.

The Miami area has a large concentration of Cuban exiles and their descendants, the vast majority of whom despised Castro. 

The Miami Dolphins beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-24. 

The quarterback's praise for Castro's education system took place days before the island nation's former leader died on Nov. 25 and sharply divided his fans. His comments sparked a fierce critical reaction by the public on social media, the Daily Mail reports. 

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Kaepernick originally praised Castro in response to a Nov. 23 Miami Herald reporter's question about why he wore a T-shirt bearing the leader's image in August.  

Kaepernick said Castro helped create the "highest literacy rate because they invest more in their educational system than they do in their prison system, which we do not do here [United States] even though we're fully capable of doing that," The Mercury News reports. 

He then pointed out that his T-shirt also depicted Malcolm X, another of his heroes. 

The fact that Malcolm X met with Castro in 1960 at Harlem's Hotel Theresa, Kaepernick said, proves the black leader was open-minded and "willing to hear different aspects of people's views."

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On Nov. 27, during the postgame press conference after the 49ers loss to Miami, the quarterback clarified his original statement. 

"What I said was I agree with the investment in education," Kaepernick said, USA Today reports. "I also agree with the investment in free universal health care, as well as the involvement in helping end apartheid in South Africa."

Kaepernick says some people had misinterpreted what he had said.

"Trying to push the false narrative that I was a supporter of the oppressive things he [Castro] did is just not true," Kaepernick said. "I said I support the investment in education, I never said I support the oppressive things he [Castro] did."

Sources: Daily Mail, USA Today, The Mercury News / Photo credit: Colin Kaepernick/Facebook

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