Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly echoed President Donald Trump’s assessment that NFL protesters should leave the country.
In a recent interview with talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root, O’Reilly said the league needs to “wise up” and impose stricter rules regarding players’ protests during the national anthem, suggesting that any players who disagree could “go to Canada.”
Trump has opined regularly on the divisive cultural issue, asserting players protesting on the field during the anthem against police violence and racism are unpatriotic and “maybe … shouldn’t be in the country.”
"You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem. You shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there. Maybe they shouldn't be in the country…the NFL owners did the right thing" -President @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/bt36t4EX5u
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 24, 2018
In O’Reilly’s opinion, the NFL’s response to the issue was insufficiently severe toward the protesters. The league announced a policy in the spring requiring players to either stand for the anthem or remain in the locker room, but the league and the players union agreed in July to put that rule on hold.
“The NFL has to wise up and say, ‘You … want to kneel, you can stay in the locker room. If you come out of the locker room, we’ll fine you $10,000 at the first offense, and at the second offense we suspend you,'” O’Reilly said.
He said adherence to his suggested reforms should be mandatory for any NFL team’s roster.
“Players don’t like it? Don’t play, go to Canada,” he said.
O’Reilly went on to applaud law enforcement groups that have spoken out against the protests, including the Broward County Police Benevolent Association in Florida.
“The police are the target of many of these kneeling protests, and the narrative put forward by some players is that American police officers actively hunt down young black men,” O’Reilly said. “Those of us who understand statistics and know criminal justice know that is not true. …
“These players are kneeling for a fallacious reason, so I’m happy the police are fighting back.”
While the former Fox News host said the basis for the protests is unfounded, one player who began this preseason by raising his fist during the anthem said he believes the silent demonstration is the best way for him to make a statement.
As The Western Journal previously reported, Miami Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn explained his reason for protesting ahead of Thursday’s game.
“As a black man in this world, I’ve got an obligation to raise awareness,” he said. “If no one wants to live in unity, that’s why we’re in the situation we’re in.”
Trump weighed in after the first round of protests this season, suggesting the NFL should begin suspending those players participating.
…..Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
“A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest,” he tweeted last week. “Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”
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