Former legendary Fox News reporter Bill O’Reilly has come in support of President Trump in his dispute with the National Football League whenever he felt it necessary, and he has done so yet again.
In a recent piece released on billoreilly.com, the former conservative TV personality argues that President Trump has won the battle against the NFL.
Below are segments of O’Reilly’s column:
President Trump declared victory this week. The commander-in-chief is essentially boasting that he has vanquished the nation’s most powerful sports league, its owners, and its players. In other words, “Mission Accomplished.”
And in fact, the president is correct, even if his end zone celebration is a bit unseemly. National Football League boss Roger Goodell, by all accounts, will soon demand that players stop kneeling or otherwise protesting during the National Anthem.
The NFL, trapped in a box of its own making, is desperate to find some graceful way out. But there really is none. If, as expected, the league orders all players to stand during the Anthem, one player has already predicted an “uproar,” and many on the left will immediately scream “racism!”
We see it already. After Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that his players will stand, the charming Al Sharpton said Jones has a “plantation mentality.” The rapper Common went farther, accusing Jones of acting like a “slave owner.” Even sports pundit Michael Wilbon, usually a reasonable guy, trotted out the “plantation” analogy.
Are these people serious? Unfortunately, they are. But they are kneeling on very shaky legal ground. Any attorney remotely familiar with First Amendment law will tell you that Jerry Jones is a private employer who can make and enforce the rules in his workplace, which just happens to be the stadium. Same for Roger Goodell and the NFL.
One player who has emerged as a very articulate spokesperson for the protesters is Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers. He asserts that players have a constitutional right to protest, which they do, but not in the arena.
Reid also opined on Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to leave a game when players kneeled. “That’s what systemic oppression looks like,” Reid declared. That’s bizarre enough, but Reid is severely misinformed when he says that President Trump called neo-Nazis “very fine people.” No, Mr. Reid, he did not say that.
President Trump won at the very same moment NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced his new rule. Now players will be obliged to stand during the national anthem. No more protests, no more nonsense. It was about time that something like this happens.
The moment Commissioner Roger Goodell penned a letter to all 32 NFL owners, asking them to stand for the anthem, was the same moment Trump declared victory in the fiery dissent with the league, its owners, and its players for protesting the anthem due to racism and police brutality against black Americans.
“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players,” Goodell noted in his letter to NFL teams.
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