Thanks to Donald Trump’s comments at a rally last weekend, the main story line in the sports world — specifically the NFL — had to do with national anthem protests across the league.
Those protests grew on Sunday afternoon, with a number of teams coming together to show unity.
Of course, the people who have been against national anthem protests since Colin Kaepernick first took a knee continued to be upset.
One side of the argument views the protest issue as a simple one: There should be no problem with it because the players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights.
The other side views the protests as “unpatriotic” and “anti-American.”
Enter NBC’s Bob Costas.
Costas appeared on CNN’s “New Day” Monday morning to discuss patriotism and the national anthem in one of the most level-headed, brilliant segments you will see on the topic.
Bob Costas NAILED this. Patriotism comes in many forms, but it’s been conflated w/ bumper sticker flag waving & “military only.” 🙌 pic.twitter.com/2R5z00btfU
— Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) September 25, 2017
“Patriotism comes in many forms and what has happened is it’s been conflated with a bumper-sticker type flag-waving and with the military only so that people cannot see that in his own way Colin Kaepernick, however imperfectly, is doing a patriotic thing,” Costas said. “And so too are some of these other players.”
He added, “Martin Luther King was a patriot. Susan B Anthony was a patriot. Dissidents are patriots. Schoolteachers and social workers are patriots.”
It doesn’t get much better than that.
People also seem to forget that NFL teams did not take the field for the national anthem until 2009. At that point, teams began taking money from the military for things like the large color displays, fly-overs and video tributes. Eventually, the NFL had to pay back nearly $1 million for “paid patriotism.”
So while people may not agree with the method of protest, calling it unpatriotic could not be more false.
Bob Costas’ full segment on CNN can be seen below, and it’s definitely worth the watch.