Miami Herald Sportswriter Prefers Satan to Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick Photo by Brook Ward / Flickr
In April 2017, New Times reported on a study showing that people who hate kneeling NFL players are also very likely racist. That news has not stopped Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero from flying into something of a blackout rage whenever anyone mentions football players protesting racism in America. Salguero has repeatedly said he does not think football players should fight for their own civil rights on the field.

Well, someone on Twitter today made the mistake of mentioning Colin Kaepernick to Salguero, and "Mando" did what Mando does best: He tweeted absurd insults at the quarterback and civil rights activist before straight-up admitting he does not "respect" Kaepernick or "agree with him" when it comes to civil rights issues.

The diatribe began when a Fins fan asked Salguero if he'd be OK with Kaepernick temporarily quarterbacking for the Dolphins while the team tried to find a different permanent option via the draft. Instead, Salguero said he would "rather have Satan" at QB.

"In case you are not aware, I have no love for Kap," he continued. "Don't agree with him. Don't respect him. If that bothers you, so be it. I will not be silenced."
Kaepernick, a free agent, is suing the NFL. He claims the league's owners are intentionally discriminating against him after he jump-started the kneeling-protest movement. (Reminder: Kaepernick initially sat out the National Anthem but switched to kneeling after a group of military veterans suggested he instead take a knee.) Kaepernick is clearly better than some of the linguine-armed ball-tossers playing quarterback at the pro level (ahem, Ryan Tannehill), but the league's ownership steadfastly denies that teams are passing on Kap just because he believes black people shouldn't be summarily executed by American cops.

Yet Salguero, who has covered the NFL for many years, just comes out and admits he personally does not want Kapernick to have a job because of his political views.

Salguero's hatred for Kaepernick is at once complex and very, very simple. First, the complicated part: Salguero claims to despise the quarterback because, when Kaepernick still played for the San Francisco 49ers, he wore a T-shirt that depicted Malcolm X meeting with Fidel Castro. Salguero, who was born in Cuba, confronted Kaepernick at a press conference and asked the QB how he could possibly wear Castro's face on his clothing. Kaepernick responded by stating he "did not agree" with Castro's repressive policies, but he liked the way Cuba offered universal health care and educational programs.

Yes, Kaepernick's answers were garbled, inconsistent, and far from eloquent. Castro was a dictator. But it's also a pretty big stretch to claim Castro fandom is central to Kaepernick's ethos. Salguero refuses to even consider that (1) the U.S. justice system is actually racist and (2) Kaepernick is doing tons of good elsewhere throughout America. He is standing against a policing system designed from the ground up to arrest and control black people — yet here's Salguero claiming Kaepernick is somehow worse than Satan.

That's likely because there's a much more basic reason for Salguero's hatred. He is a right-winger and simply does not like civil rights protesters in football. He has said that explicitly. In September 2017, he wrote two hectoring, terribly written, and nauseating columns telling kneeling players, in general, to shut up. In the first, he ridiculously suggested that players kneeling for the National Anthem but standing for the British national anthem were somehow "betraying" America. The next day, he doubled down in a column titled "Dear Sports: Stick to Sports." He ranted he is tired of listening to "social-justice warriors" and at one point said it's bad for athletes or celebrities to "alienate" the literal neo-Nazi "alt-right."

"I believe sports journalists, be they liberals or conservatives (there are like 12 conservative journalists in America [editor's note: This is a complete lie]), should stick to sports when they’re working," Salguero wrote. "You’re there to cover the game. That’s it. That’s all. Do your job."

(Salguero did not "stick to sports" in 2013 when he told a Vietnam War veteran that the guy "sucked as a soldier" and that's why the U.S. "failed in its mission" and lost the war. A Herald editor was forced to apologize on Salguero's behalf.)

Salguero has also made his thoughts painfully clear on Twitter, where he used to gleefully tweet whenever Kaepernick or other kneeling players got tackled on the gridiron:

Last year, in language that sure seemed explicitly racist, Salguero referred to NFL players, who are mostly black, as "dogs," while stating the majority-white team owners were the players' "masters."

So, with a new Dolphins coaching staff coming in, it's not surprising that Salguero is back to flogging his anti-Kaepernick horse. What is surprising is that the Herald, a newspaper that claims to stand against injustice, continues to let him get away with it.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.