San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was booed on Sunday when he took the field in Miami to play the Dolphins.
Kaepernick is best known this season for kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games to protest racial injustice in America.
The latest Kaepernick controversy stems from comments he made last week about Fidel Castro. Hours before El Comandante died on Friday, a columnist from the Miami Herald questioned Kaepernick about a T-shirt the quarterback wore in an August press conference. The T-shirt features a photo of the meeting between Fidel Castro and Malcolm X in New York CIty in 1960.
The reporter is Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Salguero was born in Cuba and migrated to the United States. In the press conference, Salguero emanates the intense Cuban-American Republican vibe of South Florida.
Kaepernick explains that the T-shirt was more about Malcolm X than Fidel. The reporter interrupts Kaepernick’s answers.
The reporter and Kaepernick keep talking past each other.
Kaepernick and Salguero are talking but is anyone listening?
Regardless of the chatter, Kaepernick puts his money where his mouth is. He’s donating $100,000 a month for the next 10 months to social justice organizations.
Kaepernick gave money in two programs here in Wisconsin. In October he gave $25,000 to Urban Underground, an organization for teens on the segregated and impoverished north side of Milwaukee. In November, Colin Kaepernick gave $25,000 to another Milwaukee non-profit called “I will not die young campaign.” It’s an organization dedicated to curbing gun violence among young black males.
The $50,000 gift is part of the one million dollars Kaepernick has promised to donate to QUOTE organizations working in oppressed communities” ENDQUOTE
Before embarking on this season’s kneeling protest, Kaepernick did his homework. He knows people are looking at his physical image, and he presents a very calculated one: With the T-shirts, the “natural” afro hair style and the bended knee, he personifies the angry yet peaceful black man.
Kaepernick knows there’s power in physical images. If there’s a chance he’s going to be photographed, he’s going to wear a Malcolm X T-shirt.
He’s donating a million dollars to community groups while the social safety net shreds to pieces. He’s organizing human rights workshops straight out of the Black Panthers’ playbook. In October, during San Francisco’s mid-season break, Kaepernick didn’t go on vacation. He didn’t visit Positano, Italy, like Tom Brady. Instead, Kaepernick was at a conference, working with young people.
All of this was lost, though, in this weekend conversations about Colin and Fidel.