Hours before the death of Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro, the Miami Herald ran a piece that examined Castro’s influence on San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
In August 2016, Kaepernick wore a Fidel Castro shirt while explaining his decision to sit out performances of the national anthem.The shirt showed a meeting between Malcolm X and Fidel Castro and carried with it the words “great minds think alike.”
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Writer Armando Salguero of the Miami Herland, a Cuban immigrant born in Havana, asked Kaepernick earlier this week to explain why he wore the shirt during a conference call prior to Castro’s death.
“I wore a Malcolm X shirt,” Kaepernick said, which technically is true, Malcolm X was most certainly on the shirt.
“I am a believer in Malcolm X and his ideology and what he talked about and what he believed in as far as fighting oppression.”
When the writer asked Kaepernick to clarify he was a believer in Fidel Castro, Kaepernick returned to Malcolm X.
“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.”
According to Salguero, Kaepernick then lectured him on Castro’s accomplishments.
“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.
Within his piece, Salguero speaks of his own family’s negative experiences under the Castro regime and laughs at Kaepernick’s lack of understanding about it.
“Is this real life?” Salguero wonders.