San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick reportedly engaged Wednesday in a “heated” discussion about Fidel Castro with a Miami Herald reporter from a family of Cuban exiles.
Kaepernick in August appeared at a press conference wearing a T-shirt that captured Castro, the Cuban leader, meeting with Malcolm X during a meeting that took place in 1960. The shirt read, “Like minds think alike.”
When asked on a conference call with Miami-area media about wearing a shirt that showed Castro, Kaepernick pointed out that Malcolm X was also pictured, according to a report in the Palm Beach Post.
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But when a reporter for the Miami Herald asked specifically about Castro, Kaepernick responded, “I’m not talking about Fidel Castro and his oppression. I’m talking about Malcolm X and what he’s done for people.”
The Palm Beach Post wrote of the exchange:
The reporter, from a family of Cuban exiles, then accused Kaepernick of diverting the conversation because it was “uncomfortable” to talk about perceived support of Castro. At that point, Kaepernick said, “One thing that 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.”
The back-and-forth continued, as the reporter said Castro broke up families, unlike what happens in the United States.
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Kaepernick said, “We do break up families here. That’s what mass incarceration is. That was the foundation of slavery so our country has been based on that as well as the genocide of native Americans.”