Colin Kaepernick Fact-Checked by Liberal Sports Media

Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sidelines during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 23, 2016 in Santa Clara, California

Colin Kaepernick’s anthem-kneeling protest movement may have just lost all momentum, now that his traditional supporters have started fact-checking him.

The reliably liberal NBC site Pro Football Talk used Kaepernick’s contentious conference call with Miami media to check claims the 49ers quarterback made that Cuba has “the highest literacy rate” and that, unlike the United States, Cuba “invests more in their education system than they do in their prison system.”

Shockingly, Pro Football Talk took Kaepernick to task:

Kaepernick’s comments about Castro’s Cuba are false.

Although Cuba does have a high literacy rate, it does not have “the highest literacy rate.” A country’s literacy rate can be measured in different ways, but multiple sources find other countries with higher rates than Cuba. World Atlas cites six countries with 100 percent literacy rates, and Cuba is not one of them. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization says 12 countries have a higher literacy rate than Cuba.

His claim that the United States spends more money on its prison system than on its education system is also incorrect. A study by the Brookings Institute found that total spending on prisons and jails in the United States is $80 billion a year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States amounts to $620 billion a year. Add in the $517 billion spent on postsecondary education, and the U.S. actually spends about 14 times as much on its education system as its prison system.

Pointing out the manifold fallacies in Kaepernick’s words, and occasionally in what he wears, is old hat for conservative media. Though, it marks quite the change for sites like Pro Football Talk who once slammed Donald Trump for his criticism of Kaepernick, lauding the quarterback for “trying to make things better” in America. They also called it “silly” for people to focus on Kaepernick’s socks, which depicted cops as pigs, even though he wore those socks less than two months after five Dallas police officers died by sniper fire.

So, to recap: Kaepernick lost his hero Fidel Castro, lost to the Dolphins, and lost Pro Football Talk. Kind of a rough week.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn


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