A one-year, $10 million contract with the Miami Dolphins marked the end of Jay Cutler’s brief retirement, and the Internet is still reeling from the disbelief that head coach Adam Gase signed the former Chicago Bears QB over Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick, who is still a free agent and has not retired, has been the center of political controversy since he first took a knee in 2016 during the National Anthem in protest of the varied oppressions black and brown people suffer around the United States. Fans of the former San Francisco 49er anticipated possible recruitment by the Dolphins, only to be ultimately convinced that their sports hero is indeed being blacklisted by the NFL.
Last year, Kaepernick in 12 games threw for 16 touchdowns and attempted two more, with only four interceptions and a 90.7 passer rating, according to For The Win. Cutler, on the other hand, was only healthy for five games, but threw four TDs vs. five interceptions, with a 78.1 passer rating before retiring and starting a whole new profession. To many fans of the game, Kaepernick was the clear better choice.
Some have called the South Florida football franchise racist for not signing Kaepernick, while others would have seen the enlisting of Kaepernick as shocking considering Miami’s politically vocal, anti-Fidel Castro Cuban populace. One Orlando Sentinel reporter even went as far as comparing Kaepernick to Cosby saying, “Bringing Kaepernick to Miami would be like bringing Bill Cosby to a feminist convention.”
Kaepernick was grilled by Miami reporters early on for wearing a shirt that depicted scenes from a 1960 meeting between Castro and Malcolm X, bearing the phrase, “Like minds think alike.”
Stephen A. Smith added to the Castro sentiment, telling Karen Hunter of SiriusXM’s The Karen Hunter Show that “While [Stephen Ross] is not concerning himself with Cuban history from a literal perspective, he’s concerning himself with those folks and how they’ll feel about Colin Kaepernick because of Fidel Castro and how it will affect his bottom line. Not the kneeling during the national anthem but how the Cuban – 34% of the Miami population – is going to react to his arrival.”
Days following the signing of Cutler – leaving Kaepernick still unemployed – lauded film director Spike Lee promoted an NYC rally in protest of the NFL. Although Lee isn’t the one behind its organization, he was vocal over Twitter about his support for Kaepernick. “I Did Not Organize And Set Up This Protest. However I Still Support My Brother And His Stance On The Injustices In The USA.”
— Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) August 8, 2017