Columnist calls Kaepernick a 'hypocrite' for Fidel Castro T-shirt

A Cuban-born Miami Herald columnist called Colin Kaepernick an “unrepentant hypocrite” and a “fraud” for wearing a T-shirt earlier this year that featured Fidel Castro.

The Herald’s Armando Salguero detailed his tense exchange with the 49ers quarterback in a column that was published just hours before the news of the Cuban dictator’s death on Friday night.

Salguero, who described his emotional escape from Castro’s Communist regime in his column, had the opportunity to challenge Kaepernick via conference call Wednesday. The 49ers travel to Miami on Sunday to play the Dolphins.

Kaepernick, who sparked a national debate in August by refusing to stand for the national anthem in protest of the oppression of African-Americans and other people of color, wore a T-shirt featuring Castro’s 1960 meeting with Malcolm X in Harlem following an August 26 preseason game.

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It was the choice of this T-shirt that Salguero wanted Kaepernick to answer for.

After first declaring that he was simply wearing a Malcolm X T-shirt, the lightning-rod QB was directly asked if he was a believer in Castro.

“The fact he (Malcolm X) met with Fidel to me speaks to his open mind to be willing to hear different aspects of people’s views and ultimately being able to create his own views as far as the best way to approach different situations, different cultures.”

Front page of the New York Daily News for September 2, 2016

Front page of the New York Daily News for September 2, 2016

(New York Daily News)

Despite several times trying to bring the conversation back to his support for Malcolm X, Kaepernick went on to praise Castro over his work for the Cuban education system.

49ers QB Colin Kaepernick sent wrong message by not voting

“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 even though we’re fully capable of doing that,” Kaepernick said.

In his column, Salguero challenged Kaepernick on his literacy facts and added:

“Could it be Cuba doesn’t have to invest a lot in its prison system because, you know, dungeons and firing squads (El Paredon) are not too expensive to maintain?”

Colin Kaepernick (r.), with teammate Eric Reid, kneels during the playing of the national anthem.

Colin Kaepernick (r.), with teammate Eric Reid, kneels during the playing of the national anthem.

(Mike McCarn/AP)

The exchange between the activist NFLer and the columnist latest about three minutes, according to Salguero’s account, before he decided enough was enough, “because I was stunned how someone so outspoken about his beliefs could be so ignorant to facts not up for debate.”

Fidel Castro’s death prompts both praise and rebuke

He ended his column by daring Kaepernick to wear his Malcolm X-Fidel Castro T-shirt in Miami, home to hundreds of thousands of Cuban exiles.

Colin Kaepernick protested 'rogue cops' with these socks during a training camp practice.

Colin Kaepernick protested ‘rogue cops’ with these socks during a training camp practice.

(Ben Margot/AP)

“Show everyone what an unrepentant hypocrite you are.”

The news of Castro’s death at age 90 also prompted another vocal Kaepernick critic to get in a dig.

“Castro dead,” tweeted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Saturday morning. “C Kaepernick weeps for his idol; wipes tears 2/ US flag; stands at attention with hand over heart for Castro. I’ll take a knee.”

Celebrating the death of Fidel Castro, pusher of false freedom

It’s not the first time Kaepernick has drawn outrage for his choice of attire. The biracial QB, 29, wore socks during a training camp practice in August that depicted cops as pigs.

“I wore these socks, in the past, because the rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust,” Kaepernick wrote in an Instagram post.

Kaepernick has continued to kneel during the pre-game playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” throughout the season.

“I’ll continue to stand with the people who are being oppressed,” Kaepernick said of his protest before the start of the regular season. “To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change, and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”

Tags:
nfl
colin kaepernick
san francisco 49ers
fidel castro
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