In the wake of the ongoing national conversation about NFL players protesting during the national anthem that was spurred by President Trump’s attacks on the athletes and league, sportscasting legend Bob Costas appeared on CNN’s Smerconish to discuss the issue.
While host Michael Smerconish and Costas discussed quarterback Colin Kaepernick and how his starting the kneeling trend is likely the reason he doesn’t have an NFL job, Costas offered up a suggestion to NFL players on how their protest over racial injustice could gain more attention.
Noting that now that networks will be showing the national anthem in full because of the focus placed on it by the president, Costas stated that waiting until right after the song was finished before taking a knee would take away any criticism from the “love it or leave it” crowd:
“But this is my suggestion, the idea of linking protests, no matter how legitimate the issue you are protesting, directly to the national anthem is not just offensive to the love it or leave it crowd. It actually causes ambivalent feelings, at best, among many people who are sympathetic to the issue, but see the anthem as representing a lot of different things including the country’s ideals and aspirations. So, to me, perhaps the most effective thing to do would be to stand for the national anthem, but the second the last note is struck, take a knee.
Because now, we’re in a time, how long it will last, where the networks are going to courage the national anthem. They’re going to show it. Most of the time, unless it’s the Super Bowl or world series and you want to see the singer, they’re in commercial during the anthem. Now, you’re going to see it. You’ll have the same audience. The same set of eyeballs. It would be a powerful statement from these players, most of who have emphasized when they’ve been interviewed that they love America, the military, okay. Stand for the anthem then take a knee. Then what is Mr. Love It or Leave It going to say? To me, humble suggestion, that’s the best I can do.”
Costas would go on to talk a bit more about Kaepernick while reacting to Oakland Raiders star Marshawn Lynch just sitting on a Gatorade buck during the anthem, saying Lynch’s action was “contemptuous” with “no redeeming aspect to it.”
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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