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RUSH: Here we are back at it again, folks. It’s so great to have you here. Always is, and we’re happy to welcome Mr. Snerdley back who was away at an NFL protest over the weekend. I’m just kidding. Just kidding. But we’re here. We’ve got it ready to go, locked and loaded, as they say. The telephone number is 800-282-2882. The email address, ElRushbo@eibnet.us.

A famous National Football League television person sent me an email: “I share so much of your sentiment. So much of the enjoyment’s been sucked out of it. Any chance this ever ends?” That’s the question, isn’t it? Well, let me ask you this. When has anything, any issue, any idea, anything that the left wants to take over and use to advance its agenda, when have they ever left it? When have they ever decided, “Okay. We’ve done what we accomplished, and we’re moving on”?

Have they let go of the abortion issue? Have they let go of Trump? Have they ever decided it’s okay to like Republicans? Look at how many years Washington Republicans and those who want to be Washington Republicans have been trying to buy appeasement and peace and love from the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party. And has it ever worked? Well, yes, it has. But you have to do John McCain to make it work. You have to turn on your own party to make it work. That’s the only way. And then it’s not everlasting love.

The minute you do a John McCain and start turning on your own party, but then return to your party to, say, seek the presidency or some other office, then they return to hating you and sliming you. When do they ever let go of something? They don’t let go, folks. This is why I’m still sad. This note is right on the money. “The enjoyment has been sucked out of this.”

I will admit that I tuned in for a quarter last night. I just wanted to see if I could watch an NFL game without all of this front and center in my mind. And I couldn’t. I couldn’t, even if I had turned the sound down. The sound, you know, the commentators, the play-by-play people, they constantly reference it, and there were flashback video highlights of the Cowboys pregame technique of taking a knee in unison on the field and then rising for the national anthem in unity. And some people were saying, “That’s how you do it. That’s how you do it.” Fine, if that’s how you do it, you’re still doing it, and you’re still sucking the lifeblood out of the game. For this fan, anyway.

So the game that I saw, the portion of the game that I saw was exciting. It was I think tied 7-7 or 14-7, and the Arizona offensive line couldn’t block anybody. Carson Palmer was getting beat up. He had open receivers but didn’t have time to get the ball to ’em. But then there came a reminder, I turned it off. I ran my little experiment. I really hope it ends, folks. I really do. I would love nothing more than for all of this stuff to end and return to normalcy.

But we’re dealing with liberalism here, and we’re dealing with the left, and that’s just not how they operate. Everybody knows how much I love the NFL and how bigger than life it’s always seemed to me, but it doesn’t seem bigger than life. It just seems like a tool now. It’s become a tool. I don’t mean slang for fool. It has become something being used by the political forces of the left to advance their agenda, which is an anti-American agenda.

And, believe me, this is all about race. It’s not about equality. It’s not about all these other bromides. It’s all about race. The left has their hooks in it, and when that happens it just never ends well. I’d like for this to be the first time, I’d like for this to be the first organization that effectively spit the left out, said, “leave us alone.” It isn’t gonna happen. I would love it if it did.

I also think — I’m going out on a limb here. The New York Times has a story today saying that the close relationship between owners and players is gonna be short-lived. They have their reasons why, and their reasons why are typically New York Times. “Well, they’re rich billionaires, and they really have nothing in common. They’re doing this all for show. They don’t really mean it.” That’s not why I think they’re fooling themselves.

I think the NFL owners are fooling themselves if they think they can buy goodwill with the political forces pushing us. I’m not talking about the players. The players, you know, they’ve been caught up in this, and they are every bit as — they’re not the leaders of this. I don’t care what people think about Kaepernick. Where is he, by the way? They are the tools. They are the people being used to advance this, just like the bought-and-paid-for protesters at a Black Lives Matter rally or a St. Louis Missouri, Ferguson, Missouri, rally or riot.

I think the owners are fooling themselves if they believe they can buy goodwill with the political forces on the left causing all of this, because they’re gonna remain who they are. They’re gonna remain white billionaires. Just like David Koch, remember, one of the wealthiest men in America, gave 25 or $50 million to a New York Hospital, and the nurses association and other unions demanded the hospital reject it because Koch didn’t mean it. He was just trying to mask his genuine and true racism, and he was just trying to make sure people didn’t see him that way.

Well, that’s how the left, that’s how they deal with genuine good works and charitable efforts if they come from people that they consider to be their political enemies. It’s just like I said, the Republicans can’t buy love from the media. The Republicans, there’s nothing they can do genuinely. The media is always gonna reject ’em when it’s in their advantage. They’ll use them as much as they can, but they will kick them out of the club whenever it is necessary and useful.

So I think it’s gonna be hard for the owners to actually buy this solidarity. But again, everything’s being done here through the lens of the media, and the owners want these pictures of themselves taking a knee, linking with the players. And they think they’re buying something with this. And I don’t believe they are.

Lou Holtz was on Fox today. He’s the former coach at Notre Dame, the former coach at Arkansas, the former coach at South Carolina. I played golf with Lou Holtz at a charity tournament at Lake Tahoe and flew back home with him. He’s a great guy. I love talking to him. You know, he’s a motivational expert, he’s a history expert, and it was fun trading back and forth philosophies on things with him. Just a great guy. He was on Fox & Friends today. Brian Kilmeade spoke to him.

“Coach, how do you feel about the president weighing in on all this stuff going on the NFL?”

HOLTZ: Let me make sure I understand this right. (chuckles) Two hundred NFL players making millions of dollars take the knee, disrespect the flag, and the president — the leader of this country — doesn’t have the right to say, “I think that’s wrong”? This is a workplace environment and he has the right to fire people. He has a right to speak out his mind. This isn’t about race. It’s all about a philosophy.

RUSH: But you see, it is about race. That’s the thing. It’s all about race. The left wants it to be about race. That makes me sad, too, that we can’t get past that. They’re not gonna let us get past that. We want to get past that. Look at all the effort that has been made to demonstrate that we’ve dealt with racism. There is. You’ve got pockets; you’ve got individuals. But in terms of the way the country is now, we’ve moved beyond our original sin. But they don’t want that perception!

They want the perception — and I’m not talking about the players here. I’m talking about the leaders of this. They want the perception that this is still a backward country rooted in separatism and racism and inequality. And so they will not allow getting past this. And that makes me sad too — and that’s made me sad for a long, long time. And then to have to sit here and be part of the group that they blame for it? So, anyway, Kilmeade said, “Coach Holtz, if you’re the NFL, how do you get of how this? There’s nobody winning here.”

HOLTZ: I would say to our football team, “We will not use our football team for any personal cause.” I feel the same thing about the NFL. This is about the ability to win. I wish that President Trump would put me in charge and get the athletes to go into the inner high schools. You have 32 different cities. Go in in the NFL and talk to young people about making good choices. You’re in the NFL because you made good choices, because you worked hard, developed your skills and talents. You didn’t join a gang.

It’s all about making choices! There are thousands of words in the English vocabulary, and the most important word by far is “choice.” You’re on that football team; I want to win and you want to promote a cause? That’s a problem because we have different objectives. That’s why the coaches and the owners and everybody else sees this happening, and they know they can’t win if everybody has a different objective for being on the team.

RUSH: Biiiingo! Bingo. Now, I’m reminded I have in my Stack here a column by the estimable Walter Williams, a former guest host here at the EIB Network — and man, oh, man, is it hard-hitting on the state of education for African-Americans in this country. Let me just sum it up for you. I’m gonna give you more details, but he says that the average college freshman African-American — athlete or not — essentially has an eighth grade education. But they’re not treated that way. They’re treated as though they’re 20, 21, 22, and presumed to be adults, and he’s dead serious about it.

He said the reason people are talking past each other is because our public education system is so bad that we have adults here… It’s not just all African-Americans, by the way. There’s a lot of white people that are ill-educated in our public school system, but many of them in college — you know, you can graduate from high school not being able to read your degree. And the average education level we’re talking about here is eighth grade, according to Dr. Williams — and he’s an educator. He’s a professor himself.

We’ll get to that and the details.

Meanwhile, “President Donald Trump ramped up with his fight with the National Football League on Tuesday, calling on the popular league to ban players from kneeling in protest at games while the U.S. national anthem is played. ‘The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can’t kneel during our National Anthem!’ Trump wrote on Twitter. … Representatives for the league and its players union could not be reached immediately for comment.” The story basically in the last hour or so, and it is a Reuters story.

Salena Zito, who lives in Pittsburgh and has done amazing work going into the parts of states — Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia — finding former blue-collar, white-collar, working-class people that always voted Democrat who voted for Donald Trump this time. She found them during the campaign, and she predicted that Trump was going to win these states based on the work and the interviews that she had done with these people. She has stayed in touch with many of them.

She continues to make visits back to these areas to take the temperature of these people, as events have transpired in the country since Trump was elected and then inaugurated. She lives in Pittsburgh, and she set out to talk to some Steelers fans. Now, I lived in Pittsburgh during the seventies when the Steelers’ Super Bowl dynasty was forming, and that was the time that the steel mills were closing. That was the time that the primary economic engine of Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas was dying.

And I’m telling you… Folks, I learned this when I worked for the Kansas City Royals. Particularly in non-major market cities… Pittsburgh’s a big city, but it’s not a major market. Kansas City… By major, I’m talking about top 10, top eight, something like that. I don’t mean to be putting anybody down. The size here is important. It was amazing to me to see this. I wasn’t a Steelers fan when I arrived in Pittsburgh. I wasn’t even particularly an NFL fan. I watched it, but I wasn’t a fanatic. I mean, I really wasn’t a sports fan. I was so into my career.

I had just left home, and that consumed me. But it didn’t take long. I got caught up in the Steelers, and to this day… (snorts) The Pittsburgh Steelers are far and away the sports team with which I have any kind of a fan-type relationship. It has not abated. It has not. I have disappointment when they lose, and it all happened in the seventies with that team. That team, that organization meant a crucial amount to the self-esteem of the city, because the rest of the city was dying. It was fascinating.

I wasn’t aware of this at the time. I’m 22, 23, and I’m just getting into it. I’m older when I’m working for the Royals, and it was the same situation there. When I worked for the Royals, they were winning every year and losing to the Yankees in the playoffs. But they were winning the division and they were going to the playoffs and they owned the town. The Kansas City Royals were glue. It united everybody in the city about something. In a marketing department, your purpose is to get more people to come to the games more often, so you study this stuff and try to figure out how to reach them.

And, you know, I found myself saying things I’d never said before: “The self-esteem of a city is tied to the performance of its team,” and it was. But Pittsburgh? I’m living evidence here. I couldn’t have cared less, and I got caught up. It has not abated in Pittsburgh, either — until Sunday. Salena Zito found some Steeler fans kind of like me. (chuckles) They’re not mad. They’re shocked. They can’t believe the whole thing about not coming out of the tunnel and then Alejandro Villanueva did, and he’s apologizing for doing it!

And people are scratching their heads. This is backwards here. He comes out, stands for the anthem, puts his hand over the heart and apologizes to the team and the coach for showing them up. He thought there were gonna be people closer to him. He didn’t think he was gonna be that exposed as the only guy that appeared to be standing for the anthem. Anyway, all of this is just nonsense and none of it has anything to do with why you like the game. None of it has anything to do with why you want to watch the game.

All it’s doing is sucking the enjoyment out of it, for me, anyway.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Yes, we’re moving on to other things today, folks. Do not… (interruption) There’s Brian nodding his head. You’re ready to move on out of this? (interruption) See? This is exactly the point. But I’ve got some… Everybody wants to move off of this. This is not what people want to talk about when they talk about the NFL. But there are a couple things, folks. You know me. I need to say a couple things about this so that they get said, and then we’re gonna move on.

I have that great piece from yesterday by Kurt Schlichter on what really has become of the conservative movement in America, and he’s exactly right. It’s one of those pieces that, “Yeah, yeah, yeah! It’s exactly what I think,” but you’ve never said it yourself. Anyway, the Steelers and these other teams like Jerry Jones, they’re all talking about “team unity,” wanting to maintain team unity. But they do not understand how left-wing politics works. Left-wing politics is not about “unity.” I don’t care what they say, that’s not what it’s about — and it’s not about equality.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

Left-wing politics works by dividing people. Left-wing politics is not about unifying. The Democrat Party is not about unifying people. All you have to do is watch what they do. They all talk about unity, all of this NFL stuff, unity, everybody is banding the word about, unity, we’re unified here. Unity between who here? Who are we trying to create unity with? Who are they trying to create unity with?

This isn’t about unity. What are we trying to unify around here? NFL players are protesting, echoing Kaepernick, they’re protesting the anthem, they’re taking a knee, whatever. What is it? Are they protesting Trump now? Are they protesting the flag? Are they protesting police brutality? Take your pick, what is the unity? They want unity of opposition to that with which they disagree. They don’t want unity with people they disagree with. They want unified opposition. They’re not trying to cross any bridge here or cross any aisle and unify with people, and particularly Trump.

And this is where I don’t think the NFL owners have a clue what this is all about. They’re all spouting unity. Now, they would love to have unity with their teams of course, but I think they’re scared. They’ve got a decision to make. Do they unify with their players or unify with their fans? To me, that’s the seminal choice here. And they’re scared to death of losing their players. They’re scared to death of player walkouts, sit-ins or what have you.

They’re more afraid of that than they are afraid of you leaving because they think you’re gonna come back. They think this is just temporary, it’s a blip and that you’re gonna come back because you always have. You’ll come back and it’ll be like it used to be with a couple other adjustments. That’s what they think. But they think if they lose the players, then it’s over.

But the left is not seeking unity with anybody. You see unity on college campus? A conservative comes out to speak, do you see any attempt by the leftist opposition to unify with ’em? No, they bring the cops out and they beat ’em up! They now advocate violence against people who are simply uttering words they disagree with. So the people in this don’t even know what unity is. And they don’t understand that liberal politics works specifically by dividing people.

Liberal politics succeeds and advances as people are divided, as chaos is created. Obama was an expert at it. Obama was the most divisive president we’ve ever had. And all of this stuff, by the way, began when Obama was president, not with Trump. Kaepernick took the knee when Obama was president. All the police brutality and all this stuff that had ’em all ticked off happened when Obama was president. First African-American president, supposed to end all of this, right? Didn’t end any of it, did it?

In fact, it got worse, didn’t it? Why’d it get worse? I thought it was gonna end. I thought people were finally gonna see that we’d elected an African-American president and that’d be an exclamation point to the idea that we’re not a racist nation. Didn’t work, did it? It got even more divided in America. And then they came along and divided people on gender and then sexual orientation and then sexual preference, and they keep dividing people.

Do I think the NFL owners understand this? Maybe a couple of, I’m guessing, just based on percentages. But on broad strokes, no. Does Goodell understand this? No. They’re all caught up in the media presentation, the daily soap opera of this. Everybody’s caught up in the grievance aspect of this. And they’re all making the calculation that what they must say and do and what they are saying and doing is because that’s where most of the country is. And that’s where they’re wrong.

Most of the country’s not with Black Lives Matter. Most of the country’s not with the New Black Panther Party. Most of the country’s not with Occupy Wall Street. And right now, most of the people are not with the Democrat Party. Not nationwide. Disunity, chaos, division, dividing people and putting them into categories: ethnic identity, ethnic politics. All of this is the current political philosophy of the American left. There is no unity at all unless you cave and join them.

Not only do they strive for disunity, they revel in pitting groups against each other to further the chaos. They are reveling in what is happening now in the NFL, and it’s why it makes me sad. They are reveling in this division. And football has always been a respite from all of that, and so has baseball and so has every other entertainment option. But you can’t escape it going to the movies anymore. You can’t escape it watching television anymore. And now you can’t escape it watching the NFL anymore. And people are duly noting this.

And I’ll bet you, folks, for a lot of people, this is an eye-opening thing. A lot of people are apolitical. They avoid politics anyway ’cause they don’t like it, but now it is infecting and infesting the National Football League, and it’s not good. Take a look at the example I gave with the Steelers and Pittsburgh in the seventies. You might scoff, but I’m telling you this is true. Back then with the primary economic engine of Pittsburgh dying, the steel mills closing and related industries closing, the Steelers, the players typified blue-collar, hard work, no excuses, tough, hard-hitting. And players were considered by the fans to just be one of them.

There wasn’t any difference, other than the players could do something the fans couldn’t, but in terms of the kind of people, the fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventies thought those players were Pittsburghers, and they were them. Yeah, they made a little bit more money, but they were the same people. That’s not the case in professional football today. The players and the fans are not, the fans especially, do not consider themselves, they do not consider the players to be one of them, I’ll guaran-damn-tee you, they don’t.

But it used to be that way. And so now politics has entered, and you gotta pick a side. The owners have to pick a side, the fans have to pick a side. And we’re not talking about picking a side to win the game. We’re talking about pick a side politically.

Do you support Kaepernick? Do you think the owners are shafting Kaepernick by not hiring him? Do you think the owners are a bunch of white racists, or do you stand with Black Lives Matter and Colin Kaepernick and whatever else is behind these protests of the flag? The Steelers… I said yesterday that Coach Tomlin… I knew exactly what he was doing by trying to keep that team off the field. He wanted them to avoid having to make the choice in public, to either kneel or stand. He wanted to avoid the politics of it. Admirable.

He wanted to not be part of it. He didn’t want his players thrust into it. But he found out, didn’t he? It doesn’t work that way because the left will not let you avoid it. Alejandro Villanueva went to Ben Roethlisberger and said, “Could I stand with the captains as we go out? Could I be at the front in the tunnel so that I can be seen?” He wanted to do the thing that’s right when the anthem was playing. Captains of the teams lead the teams out. Alejandro Villanueva is not a captain. He asked Roethlisberger, the quarterback, “Could I stand with you guys?”

He said, “Yeah, of course.”

Well, Villanueva happened to be a little too far out in the tunnel while the rest of the team was invisibly just behind him in the tunnel. He was exposed. He’s now apologizing for letting his coach down. He’s now apologizing for letting his teammates down. He’s the guy that did the right thing, and he’s apologizing for letting his brothers down, his teammates. We hear these guys talk about, “We’re in this! You know, we’re brothers; we got each other’s backs.” They didn’t have Alejandro Villanueva’s back Sunday. Now he feels bad that he didn’t have theirs. This is not what all of this is supposed to be.

This is exactly what it looks like when the disease, the cancer of liberalism infects and corrupts an institution.

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