On Monday, several members of the Miami Dolphins openly threw their support behind controversial former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who came under fire last year for wearing a Fidel Castro shirt and offering praise for the Cuban dictator.
In response, the Dolphins received brutal backlash from fans.
As the Dolphins prepared for their game against the New York Jets, a number of team members were seen wearing black T-shirts with the phrase “#IMWITHKAP” written on them.
The Dolphins have shirts showing their support for Colin Kaepernick's push for social justice and racial equality. pic.twitter.com/OMha2xl0wj
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) September 24, 2017
And before the game began, several players followed Kaepernick’s lead by kneeling during the national anthem. The protesters included Jay Ajayi, Kenny Stills, Laremy Tunsil, and Julius Thomas. The rest of the team stood with their arms locked. None of the Jets knelt.
Ironically, the Dolphins went on to lose the game by a decisive 20-6 score. But guard Jermon Bushrod was quick to point out their defeat had nothing to do with the national anthem protests.
What the Dolphins forget in their support for Castro-loving Colin Kaepernick is that Florida–and their hometown of Miami in particular–has the biggest community of Cuban Americans in the country. And most of these are people who fled Cuba to escape oppression and even death at the hands of the brutal Castro regime.
Ironically, the Dolphins allegedly considered hiring Kaepernick as a replacement for injured quarterback Ryan Tennehill earlier this year. They ended up going with Jay Cutler.
Some observers noted that hiring Kaepernick would have been a slap in the face to Cuban fans, many of whom lost family and their possessions to the Castros.
Ahead of a press conference for the 49ers-Dolphins game last year, Kaepernick praised Fidel Castro when a Cuban reporter for the Miami herald confronted him about ahis t-shirt depicting the infamous dictator’s meeting with Malcolm X.
“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.
As might be imagined, the comments didn’t sit well with the people who are acquainted with the horrors of Castro’s’ Cuba. Fans are now reminding Kaepernick and the Dolphins that they may be tolerant, but draw the line at applauding tyrants–and the naive sports stars who defend them.
Kaepernick didn't just take a knee…he admires mass murdering monsters like Castro & Che Guevara. Confused dolt. https://t.co/zDSK1JYh9Y
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) September 23, 2017
My problem with Kaepernick was never him taking a knee, it's that he claims to be standing up for justice while supporting thugs like Castro
— Will Roberts (@Will_0004) September 24, 2017
How ironic that I find this while searching Kaepernick Castro, and Colin spoke against the U.S., and the police, but not Castro
— Lionel Something (@struggleir) September 24, 2017