Armando Salguero, a columnist for the Miami Herald who writes often about the Miami Dolphins, called Kaepernick a “fraud” and an “unrepentant hypocrite” Friday for wearing the T-shirt that cast Castro, a largely reviled figure in South Florida’s large Cuban population, as a hero. Kaepernick wore the T-shirt that also featured Malcolm X at a news conference in August when Kaepernick began making headlines for kneeling during the national anthem to protest what he identified as “systematic oppression” of minorities in the United States.

“So after his first notable protest against what last week he called the ‘systematic oppression’ of minorities in the United States, and saying he wants ‘freedom for all people,’ Colin Kaepernick put on a T-shirt that featured a supportive image of one of the 20th century’s most enduring oppressors,” Salguero wrote Friday.

During the call, which came ahead of the Dolphins-49ers game Sunday, the Cuban-born Salguero first questioned Kaepernick about the shirt before the conversation shifted into some of Castro’s policies.

“And that’s exactly the moment Kaepernick shows how lost he truly is,” Salguero wrote Friday.

In his column, Salguero dismissed Kaepernick’s claims that Cuba has a higher literacy rate than the United States because it invests more on education than mass incarceration.

“[D]on’t be surprised if the same people who report Cuba’s admittedly high literacy rate are related to those who report its election results — the ones in which the Castros get 100 percent of the votes,” Salguero wrote.

Cuba’s literacy rate is 99.8 percent compared to the United States’ 99 percent, according to CIA statistics. However, the reasons for that are unclear.

What really appeared to irk Salguero about Kaepernick, however, was what he saw as the quarterback’s equation of the Castro regime as a perpetrator in breaking up families to criminals in America being forced to leave their families thanks to extended prison sentences.

Although acknowledging the subtext of what Kaepernick was likely getting at — that some of the more than 2 million people imprisoned in the United States are serving disproportionately long sentences for nonviolent crimes — Salguero simplified Kaepernick’s argument to easily find a major fault in the quarterback’s logic.

Salguero, who regaled in his column a personal tale of how he and his mother were forced to split from his dad in 1967 while emigrating from Cuba to the United States, wrote:

“My family breaking up because my parents wanted me to be free is not and never will be the same as, for example, a father of two in the United States murdering someone and being away from his kids because he was convicted and serving time. . . .
“My father and the murderer are not similar. So breaking up families cannot always be equated with breaking up families. To believe so is not thinking the issue through. And not thinking issues through is a bad look for so-called protest leaders such as Kaepernick.”

“My exchange with Kaepernick ended there, after about three minutes, because I was stunned how someone so outspoken about his beliefs could be so ignorant to facts not up for debate,” Salguero continued. “I suppose he thinks he made salient points in our back and forth.

“All he did was expose himself as a fraud.”

At press time Friday evening, Kaepernick had not publicly responded to Salguero.