Kaepernick Signing a Long Shot After Dolphins Sign Fitzpatrick

Kaepernick
AP Photo/Ben Margot

With Miami signing journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday, it’s perhaps a long-shot QB Colin Kaepernick will be joining the Dolphins.

According to a report last week from CBS’ Jason La Canfora, the free agent QB has his eye on the Dolphins’ QB opening. Miami traded long-time starter Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans last week.

“Reached out to source close to @Kaepernick7 and asked if he was interested in filling Miami QB vacancy. Was told ‘yes, he’s training hard and ready to play’ could get interesting.” La Canfora tweeted on March 15.

Other reporters were pushing for the Dolphins to sign the quarterback who started the anthem-kneeling movement to protest police brutality and social injustice, and recently settled his collusion lawsuit against the NFL.

One reporter who thinks Kaepernick to Miami might be a good fit is San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler.

“Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is a maverick,” wrote Ostler on March 16. “He was the lone dissenting vote among NFL owners on the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas. Ross is founder of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, which champions social justice and fights racial discrimination.

“Also: Brian Flores, the Dolphins’ new head coach, is black. Not that every black person or every black coach supports Kaepernick and his cause. But Flores grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, so he might be more sensitive to racial injustice than the average coach, and less likely to be a protest hater.”

However, the potential problem with a Kaepernick-Miami marriage, might be the Cuban community in South Florida.

In a post-game press conference in 2016, Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, wore a T-shirt with a photo of Malcolm X and Fidel Castro meeting in 1960.

Florida has an enormous Cuban population, estimated at 1.5 million. Many of whom fled Cuba after Castro took over the country. A lot of Cubans live in Miami and the South Florida region, which is the Dolphins’ market.

After the communist dictator took over in 1959, the Miami Herald reports, “5,000 or so (were) executed in the immediate aftermath of Castro’s 1959 takeover — sometimes after kangaroo-court trials.”

Many more political prisoners have been killed and imprisoned since them. Fidel Castro died in 2016. However, his dictatorial style still dominates the island nation, under the rule of his brother Raul.

Long-time Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero, who was born in Cuban imprisonment before his family eventually fled to the United States, grilled Kaepernick on that T-shirt late in the 2016 season, before a 49ers-Dolphins game.

“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 told Salguero.

Salguero wrote in response to this quote:

“Is this real life? First, Cuba does not have the highest literacy rate. Second, don’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. Third, could it be Cuba doesn’t have to invest a lot in its prison system because, you know, dungeons and firing squads (El Paredon) are not too expensive to maintain?”

So Kaepernick to Miami, as some in the media are pushing, might not be a good idea.

Unless the Dolphins want to risk turning off their Cuban fan base, which is considerable.

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