Star quarterback Colin Kaepernick is setting the record straight on the “false narrative” concerning his statements about the late Fidel Castro.
The controversy first erupted Nov. 23, when the political NFL player donned a T-shirt featuring the dictator and Malcolm X.
The San Francisco 49ers QB explained the shirt emphasized Malcolm X’s positive impact; Kaepernick wasn’t praising Castro, who died on Friday at age 90.
Still, he credited Castro for investing in Cuba’s education and de-emphasizing prisons.
“One thing that Fidel Castro did do is they have the highest literacy rate,” he told the Palm Beach Post. “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.”
However, according to World Atlas, Cuba is not one of the six countries with the highest literacy rates at 100 percent. But does rank in at the 99.8 percentage. Meanwhile, the United States remains unlisted.
Kaepernick’s statement that Cuba spends more on education than prison is accurate. According to a 2014 report by the World Bank, the country designated 13 percent toward teaching. That made it the highest contributor of any country.
Still, many reports misconstrued the statement as an endorsement for Castro as a political leader. After the 49ers lost to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Nov. 27, Kaepernick explained what he meant to the press.
“It was completely out of context,” he said, according to Pro Football Talk. “Once again, what I said was I support the investment in education. I’ve never said that I support the oppressive things that he did. What I said was that I agree with the investment in education. I also agree with the investment in free universal health care, as well as the involvement in him helping end apartheid in South Africa.”
Reports from BBC and Atlanta Black Star back Kaepernick’s remarks.
“I would hope that everybody agrees that those things are good things,” he continued. “Trying to push the false narrative that I was a supporter of the oppressive things that he did, it’s just not true.”