On Wednesday, sportswriter Jason Whitlock appeared on Fox News and blasted the NFL players who want to kneel during the national anthem, asserting, “If these guys want to protest, there are six other days in the week.”
Whitlock was interviewed by host Brian Kilmeade.
Kilmeade stated, “Over the last 24 hours, the NFL players union has fired back against the NFL’s May decision ordering players to stand for the national anthem or stay in the locker room. The players association just filed a grievance against the league demanding that they have a right to kneel, sit or do something else, protest. They want that right to be restored. Is that going to do anything to win back fans of the NFL? Jason Whitlock, cohost of ‘Speak for Yourself’ joins us right now on the Fox Sports 1 studios. Jason, is this going to help or hurt the league?”
Whitlock pulled no punches:
I think it’s going to hurt the league; and I think it will hurt the individual players as well in terms of the brand of NFL player. These guys just don’t seem to get it. They are branding themselves as unpatriotic in a sport that since Pete Rozelle in the 1960s has branded itself as over-patriotic. This is completely off-brand and off the business model the NFL has established for itself and its players. It’s bad business. If these guys want to protest, there are six other days in the week. There’s 21 other hours on Sunday for them to do that. When you’re playing in the NFL, your goal is to make as much money as humanly possible for playing a dangerous game and then take that money and support whatever causes you believe in. This is so crystal-clear I have no idea what those guys are thinking.
Kilmeade commented that most white owners and fans wanted people to stand for the national anthem while most black players said they wanted the right to protest what was wrong in society, and were upset that their right to protest was being taken away.
Whitlock responded, “Listen. man, my father was a small business man in Indianapolis, and the customer is always right when you go into business. So you have to please your customer base. This isn’t about a handful of players and how they feel. I’ll push back; I want DeMaurice Smith, the head of the players’ union, to poll the 1,700 NFL players. How many of them want to kneel during the national anthem and want to continue this fight? I don’t think it’s a majority; I think it’s less than a hundred. If that’s the case, why are you as a union out supporting what a hundred or less players want as opposed to what 1,500, 1,600 other players want done? This should not be a priority because there’s not that many NFL players that want to see this happen.”