RUSH: Here’s Chris in Stafford, Virginia. Hey, Chris, what’s up? You’re first today.
CALLER: How are you doing, sir?
RUSH: Go ahead, Chris.
CALLER: I’d like to start off by saying I think I’ve been listening to you for almost two years, and a lot of stuff that you say makes sense, ’cause a lot of stuff I did not understand as far as the Republican and the Democratic side. I want to ask you a question. When you…? I think people are a little upset and thinking that the players are degrading the flag, when I don’t see it that way. I was in the United States Marine Corps from ’91 through ’99, so I guess I know a little bit something about patriotic as far as being in the military and representing the flag.
I just think that they’re using their platform to get a message across as far as the police brutality and a lot of stuff that’s going on that shouldn’t be going on. And my question to you is, when you see…? When you see the flag, naturally you think of our military service personnel, Congress, and more likely your front-runner which is the president of the United States. Do you think that the way that he’s acting and the way that he’s talking, not just the Koreans, to the football —
RUSH: Chris, I’m gonna have to go. Chris, I’m out of time here. I’ll answer your question as I think I understand it when we get back. I have to go.
RUSH: Dave in Pittsburgh, I’m glad you waited, sir. You’re up.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. I’m an attorney. I’ve been an attorney for 20 years. And let me tell you what’s so frustrating to me about this whole NFL thing. I hear the smart people, so-called smart people all over the news media, our politicians are talking about that these players somehow have a right to protest. If they want to take a knee, that’s their right, their freedom of speech right.
They couldn’t be more wrong. This is Constitution 101 class stuff. The First Amendment does not apply to these players. There must be state action for the First Amendment to apply. And the NFL is not the state. They have an absolute right to fire those players because of their speech. There’s no right for them, they do not have a right to protest whatsoever.
RUSH: I hate to tell you, folks, he is exactly right. This is a workplace issue. And the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech doesn’t apply here. The First Amendment only says that the government, Congress shall make no law abridging your right to freedom of speech, state actions. But employers can tell employees what they can say and can’t say in certain situations, how to behave, what’s a fireable offense. This is absolutely true. You’re absolutely right about this.
And you’re also right that it’s media people, supposed educated, learned people who are — further, it’s all part of the effort to make these guys look oppressed and discriminated against and so forth. And, of course, whatever they do, why that can’t be divisive. Why, that’s only uplifting. When it is divisive, and you can look at the stands and TV ratings to see that it is. It’s just common sense. It’s now in utter, total denial.
RUSH: Here’s Charity in South Carolina. I’m glad you waited. You’re next up. Great to have you with us on the program today. How are you?
CALLER: I’m all right. How about yourself?
RUSH: Very good. Thank you.
CALLER: I was just wondering, why are the NFL players being praised for kneeling during the national anthem, for standing for what they believe in — not really standing, I guess. But Donald Trump is being criticized for exactly the same thing?
CALLER: If you have a platform and you want to use it, why don’t you do something positive? At least Donald Trump’s standing up for something. You talk about divisive, those people kneeling down are the epitome of divisiveness. That’s dividing the people more than anything else, more than anything Donald Trump is saying.
RUSH: Bingo! Exactly. Not even I could say it better than that. You are exactly right. I’ve been thinking the same thing all weekend. You know, it offends me when I listen to all these people describe certain behavior as wonderful, thorough, pure Americana, and then somebody who objects to it is divisive, as though Trump — If you read what these people said, Trump is not entitled to react to it. Trump should shut up. Trump is not helping the situation.
As though when the left gets in gear and their stuff starts rolling we’re just to get out of the way and let it go where it goes. And if we stand up and trying to stop it or say we’re against it we’re accused of being divisive or racist or bigoted or what have you. You’re exactly right. He’s as much entitled to his view on this as they are to theirs.
CALLER: Can I ask one more question?
CALLER: I am just curious as to how kneeling during the national anthem is standing against police brutality. I don’t understand that whole thing. That’s basically saying that the American people and the American flag stands for police brutality. But I don’t understand how kneeling during the national anthem means — I just don’t understand the whole thing. My husband and I are in the Navy, both of us, and he’s over in Japan and I’m here in South Carolina with two kids. We make sacrifices every day. How is kneeling during the national anthem anything to do with police brutality?
RUSH: Well, it isn’t, of course. That’s exactly right. Let me walk you through things and have you answer some questions. I mean, you know the answers to this, but this will be a useful exercise. What is the purpose of playing the national anthem at any time before a sports event or any event, what is the intention? Why do we do it?
CALLER: To unite people, to show that we are a country that’s united, we stand together, we stand for something, for freedom, for liberty.
RUSH: True. It is also to celebrate positively and to express and show a genuine love for the country, above and beyond the symbolic. It’s something that’s done that is distinctly pro-America. Would you agree with that?
RUSH: Okay. So if people are going to take positions, assume positions, whatever, in the midst of that celebration, what is the only thing you can conclude?
CALLER: That they are not for America?
RUSH: They are protesting against that celebration of America, because they’ve got a grievance against it.
RUSH: And they’re doing this on company time. It’s a workplace protest. And because the cameras are there because people are there, they turn on their TVs, they go to the stadium to watch a football game. Now they have to watch this if they’re gonna watch the game, if it’s the lens of the media.
Now, the protesters, “That’s exactly right. They wouldn’t care, this is why we have to put it in their face.” But when you boil it all down, what is it? There’s not a graphic on TV during the anthem that says, “Colin Kaepernick is taking a knee because of police brutality.” That’s not the conclusion. What it looks like is that Colin Kaepernick is not a happy American, he doesn’t believe in it and for whatever reason, and that take, be it right or wrong, is completely understandable.
Police brutality, prison overpopulation, whatever the cause is, it is being advanced by the left. See, folks, this is my reason for being sad. They’ve just corrupted it now and I don’t know how it goes back to being the same. I wish it could. And this is not wishing, as I said, to go back to the Ward Cleavers in the fifties. Not turning back the clock in that sense. Cause we’re only talking about two or three years here.
But you’re right. Police brutality, what is taking a knee — and what is police brutality? What is it? I maintain to you, based on a lot that I have read, that there are still way too many people who believe “hands up, don’t shoot.” It’s one of the most successful media lies in the recent past. Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown was shot in the back while running away from a cop, his hands up, “Please don’t shoot, Officer, don’t shoot.” You’d be stunned at the number of people that still believe that’s what happened.
RUSH: Here’s Scott in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Hi. Great to have you.
CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush. What an honor it is to be on the program with you today. This is a bucket list moment for me.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Oh, thank you. Real quickly, I was away this weekend working. I’m a hockey play-by-play guy. We are a football family. I’m a diehard Patriots fan; my wife is a diehard Cowboys fan. We raised the kids. We make, you know, the wings, the beer, get together for the Super Bowl all the time. Every weekend my brother-in-law blah, blah, blah, father, mother, everybody. So I’m away and my daughter’s my fantasy football partner.
She’s seven years old, so I’m her voice now about how Brady’s doing. I’m keeping an eye on it. Yeah, because we’ve Brady, of course. We picked him in the first round and my wife’s like, “You know, they’re not watching.” I said, “What do you mean they’re not watching?” I said, “Put the game on!” She says, “I had it on. The national anthem came on, they saw the guys kneeling,” and my son and my daughter turned to her and said, “Mommy, turn it off.
“We don’t want to watch this because they’re not standing for our flag.” I was never intended not to watch it because of this. I was like, “They’re not gonna ruin my time. They’re not gonna. You know, Sundays, it’s a family thing, whatever. These guys are doing whatever they do,” and I’m pretty political, but I’m like, “Whatever. This will pass. It’s just another moment of idiocy.”
RUSH: Wait. Did you see your 7 year old didn’t want to watch? Is that what you said? Did I hear you right?
CALLER: My daughter’s 7. My son’s 11. My son was the one who turned around — my daughter was in agreement with him — and said, “Mommy, turn this off. We do not want to watch this, because they won’t stand.” All by themselves.
CALLER: And I was never gonna not watch it.
RUSH: But you were prepared to? You weren’t gonna let this stuff intrude on your love for the game?
CALLER: Right. It’s not just a game. You know football. It’s a spectacle on Sunday.
RUSH: Yeah, be with I know. I know.
CALLER: We make wings and the dip, you know, you have everybody over to watch.
RUSH: I know. Tell me about it. I built a whole room for that in my house. Yeah. I know.
RUSH: Mary Lou in Youngstown, Ohio. Great to have you with us. How are you?
CALLER: I’m great, Rush, and excited to be talking to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I know it’s running out of time pick up I just wanted to get to my point. I wonder if we would be where we are today with this NFL situation if the owners of the 49ers had taken some action last year. I live in the city where the owners live and I waited all last year for them to do something about it, and maybe if they had taken a stand and gotten other owners behind them, we wouldn’t have reached this point.
RUSH: What kind of stand? What do you mean? What’d you think the Yorks…?
CALLER: I think she should have done something last year and said —
RUSH: Done what?
CALLER: Well, do whatever. Like the rules say you can’t protest on a company time.
RUSH: Oh! Oh, when Kaepernick took the knee you think they should have gone to Kaepernick and said, “You’re standing up, bud, or else”?
CALLER: Right. Right.
CALLER: I’m a teacher. I would never allowed to take my public views, you know, into the classroom, so I just think that that might have made a difference. I don’t know.
RUSH: Let me ask you this.
CALLER: You’re more savvy about these kind of things.
RUSH: That’s a great, great point. All would have broken loose if they’d done it, but all hell breaks loose if you discipline anybody!
RUSH: That’s part of being an adult. Let me ask you this because time is draining, as you said. What do you think…? Like I saw sportswriters today saying the way to solve this aside from not playing the anthem anymore is for some brave, courageous owner to hire Kaepernick and let him play quarterback. What do you think that would do?
CALLER: Oh, that would make me angrier. I’m already not watching this year because I’m a very sad Steelers fan, and if they cave in and give him a job just because of this I would be even more disappointed.
RUSH: Yeah, I think your reaction would probably represent a majority of reaction. But the sportswriter, the sports media community thinks that if some brave owner — they’re sending a signal that they’ll make the owner a hero. They’ll make him the most popular guy in the media if they’ll hire Kaepernick, and they think that would be the way to win this and to embarrass Trump and to stop the opposition at the same time — and they don’t know. They don’t get it.