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RUSH: What I was done be gonna said (sic) about the NFL is that — we got the audio sound bites coming up — everybody now is saying, “This isn’t about the flag! This isn’t about the police brutality! This isn’t…” Oh, yes, it is! And if they don’t know that’s what it is, then it proves my point. They’re a bunch of tools. I’ve told everybody what this is all about from the get-go, starting with the focus on concussions. This is an effort by the American left to damage — severely damage — the NFL. The NFL is clueless, sitting in the middle of this tornado. They’re clueless as to what’s really going on.

They’re caught up in all the hodgepodge of thinking this is about equality and fairness and whatever else they think it’s about. It’s not about that. They don’t want to destroy the NFL ’cause they want to be able to fleece it, but this is about inflicting damage. The NFL is an anathema to liberalism. It’s masculinity. It’s patriotic. It is rough-and-tumble. It’s a team sport that requires individual greatness, everything the left is trying to drum out of our culture. And that is not an exaggeration. That’s what this is about, and it’s always been about that. And the racial component here is just a distraction and smoke screen. I’ve been telling you this from the get-go.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: There’s a huge NFL Stack here today, folks, and not a lot of it is repetitive. Huge NFL Stack here today. Big, big trouble for the Steelers in Pittsburgh over what happened on Sunday in Chicago. That has monumental possibilities to it as well.

But this morning on the Fox Business Network, Stuart Varney’s show, talking to Steve Cortes… He’s the Hispanic Advisory Council member — Trump Hispanic Advisory Council member — and they’re talking about my take, one of my many takes on the situation involving the NFL.

VARNEY: Rush Limbaugh came on and said… He said: Look, football has lost its joy.

CORTES: Mmm.

VARNEY: What do you make of that?

CORTES: No, he said it’s lost its mystique, the NFL, which I think it has, unfortunately.

VARNEY: Mmm-hmm.

CORTES: Sadly, the NFL has, you know, I think gone out very, very far on a limb here — has disrespected America, disrespected cops, disrespected the military — and thankfully it is gonna pay a financial price. This is also a league, an organization, which is receiving enormous amounts of corporate welfare, frankly —

VARNEY: Yeah.

CORTES: — from the American taxpayer, which I think is despicable.

CORTES: Mmm.

VARNEY: For example, Heinz Field where the Steelers play — the Steelers who refused to come out for the national anthem on Sunday — Heinz Field. A majority of the funding for that field, $170 million, was the taxpayers of Pittsburgh and of Pennsylvania. I hope in the future we are done with that nonsense.

RUSH: Yeah, the Steelers management, you know, they played the old “We’re gonna move card” if we don’t get the stadium. Even in Pittsburgh, they played that card. I mean, not heavily. They threw it out one time. They didn’t make a big deal of it, but they did play that card before they built the stadium. (interruption) I knew it! I knew it wasn’t a hoax. Hillary did say that she hopes Trump isn’t gonna start shooting journalists. You thought that was a hoax, but it’s not. It’s real. It’s in the book.

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RUSH: Trump also said he thinks the NFL’s in a box. “In my opinion, the NFL has to change or their business is going to hell.” I’ve been making this point since Monday. And as I say, we have an NFL Stack that’s building and audio sound bites coming upping. Looking forward to getting into it.

So many people are, again, they’re close, but they’re missing what actually is the objective here of the people behind what’s happening. And it isn’t the players. The players are like most other protesters at events. They’re what you see, but they’re not the brains behind it. That’s not a take on their intelligence.

I’m just saying that there are people responsible for this making things happen, and the players are caught up in it. I’m sure many seriously believe what they’re doing. They just don’t know what they’re doing, or they wouldn’t be doing it if they did. Just trust me on this.

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RUSH: This is Lou Ann in Indiana. Great to have you, Lou Ann. Thank you for letting us call you back.

CALLER: Thank you, Rush. I can’t believe I’m talking to you, you are my hero. If I could just take a minute and just tell you a little bit about how much you mean to me and my family. Thirty years ago I was an empty headed little liberal. I had no idea. I just assumed that Ronald Reagan must have been a dummy, because that’s what the media all said. And then I said, listening to you — I’m a lifer, I’m a 29-year listener, okay — and it was like the lightbulb came on. And since then I have read conservative authors and listened to other conservative people, and now I know exactly why I’m conservative. So I want to thank you for that.

RUSH: Thank you very much. You have made my day. I can’t tell you how —

CALLER: You make mine just about every time I listen to you.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: Okay. The reason I called is because I wanted to touch on this strategy, this ugly little game that the left plays called divide and conquer. And originally I was calling in relation to the NFL, but actually now that I think about it, it actually is going to apply to the upcoming tax battle that’s gonna be coming up, okay? And these insights, I really can’t take all the credit for them because I did read Shelby Steele and his insight about how one side is pitted against the other and the other has to purchase their innocence, you know —

RUSH: That’s exactly what — I said this yesterday. Liberalism is about dividing people. It isn’t about unity. Look, I gotta take a break here, Lou Ann. Hang on. Don’t go anywhere. Don’t hang up.

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RUSH: Okay. We’re back on the Rush Limbaugh program and Lou Ann in Lakeville, Indiana. Lou Ann, before you resume here, I want to focus on something she said. She mentioned Shelby Steele. Folks, this is so dead-right on. Lou Ann made a great point mentioning Shelby Steele, that our side… This is Shelby Steele’s theory; he’s just dead on. We have to purchase our innocence. Now, what that means, the left is always presumed to have the moral high ground. The left is always presumed to be morally correct and to have the best of intentions.

But we who are not leftists? We have to make some grand gesture in word or deed or money to show that we are not racist or bigots or homophobes or whatever — and even then, it doesn’t work. David Koch gives $50 million, $25 million to a hospital in New York, and the left rejects it claiming he’s simply trying to fool people that he’s not a racist. It’s true, and we fall for this. We make these grand gestures, we go out of the way to try to demonstrate they aren’t racist, and this is as divisive as anything you could imagine.

When we fall for it, we automatically, by falling for it, surrender to them the moral high ground. They own the presumption they are correct — they are morally correct, they’re perfect — and it’s we who are the bigots and so forth. And that’s got to stop, because that is how they extract and force this division throughout our culture. And before you went on, Lou Ann, I wanted to emphasize that because that’s exactly right what Shelby Steele had said. And your quoting of him there was perfect.

CALLER: Well, thank you, Rush. And I really… Anybody who is interested in the book, it won a Pulitzer Prize about 20 years ago. It’s called The Content of Our Character — which, of course, comes directly from Martin Luther King. So, you know, I mean, the way I see this game, if I could just… You know, it seems like the left wants to control everything. They want to assign the teams, they want to make the rules, and the way… You know, if you’re black or female or gay or whatever, you get to join the team called The Aggrieved Team. They have a grievance, okay? And everybody else is on The Evil Oppressor Team, and, you know, they constantly reopen old wounds, injuries that should have healed a long time ago.

RUSH: They don’t allow them to heal.

CALLER: It’s not a healthy dynamic. It’s a lose-lose game, and the only way to win it is to not play it.

RUSH: Exactly right. Don’t play it.

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: Don’t react to them, and don’t let them occupy the moral high ground.

CALLER: Absolutely. I mean, you know, when I read Shelby Steele, I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t have to purchase my innocence. I own my innocence.” And it makes me sad when I see these Michael Brown incidents being exploited like that, but I can’t play that game.

RUSH: Let me give you another example of this. I don’t mean to be harping on somebody here, but it’s just a great example. Yesterday Art Rooney II, who now runs the Pittsburgh Steelers, put on the Steelers website a letter to the fans explaining why they didn’t come out for the national anthem in Chicago on Sunday, and he said because we wanted to avoid making a political statement.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: Now, stop and think of that.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: Standing for the anthem, I guess, is perceived as making a political statement. The truth is standing for the anthem is not politics. That’s how you do not make a political statement. Not standing for the anthem is the political statement.

CALLER: Absolutely. Yeah.

RUSH: And this is how things get reversed.

CALLER: Yeah. I think the coaches are stuck in this conundrum. I wish the coaches would understand this dynamic, you know, and just don’t play that game.

RUSH: Well…

CALLER: (chuckling)

RUSH: The coaches on one side of their mouth will say, “I can’t tell these men what to do! I can’t these guys what to do!” And then tells ’em what to do!

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: Where to be, what time to be there, what they can eat and can’t eat, what they can dress, what the fine’s gonna be if they violate any rule.

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: But when it comes to this stuff, “I can’t tell these men what to do.” Look, Lou Ann, I need to go. You were gonna be offered a brand-new iPhone 8 or 8 Plus yesterday —

CALLER: Ooo!

RUSH: — because it was iPhone 8 Plus day yesterday, and I didn’t get to you. So I promised everybody when you called back yesterday, they’d get one. Do you want one? You don’t have to take it if you’re not a cell phone person.

CALLER: Well, absolutely I do! Thank you so much.

RUSH: Which kind would you like, the big one, the 8 Plus or the smaller one?

CALLER: I think the big one.

RUSH: And do you have a color preference?

CALLER: How about silver?

RUSH: Oh, they are gorgeous.

CALLER: Oh!

RUSH: They’re almost white on the back.

CALLER: Oh, well, that is so generous, Rush.

RUSH: Now, they come SIM-free so you can use this on any carrier that you have.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: So if you’ll hang on, Mr. Snerdley will be back with you to get your address so we can get it out to you.

CALLER: Thank you so much. God bless you, Rush.

RUSH: You are more than welcome. I don’t know if you people know it — you probably haven’t discovered it yet — but Apple has really, really, really simplified and improved the process of setting up your new phone. You no longer have to use iTunes. This is incredible. You get your new phone and you turn it on and you get your old phone and you turn it on, and you put ’em side by side. On the new phone, it will ask you to input what country you’re in and what your language is, and then it’ll ask you to enter the user code you use to unlock the old phone on the new one, and then you got a splash page that says, “Instant startup.”

And all you do is pair the two phones together, which takes a second, and all the settings and all of your preferences transfer from the old phone to the new as they’re side by side with no wires. And then it asks you, “Do you want to restore the phone from a backup on iCloud or set it up as new?” Restore from an iCloud back up, and in a half hour you’re done. Your apps, your passwords all come from iCloud Keychain. It’s the simplest, and they’re not touting this. They’re not touting this at all. You don’t have to connect to iTunes; you don’t have to do an iTunes encrypted back up. That was the previous way of doing it to get your passwords. It all just happens — and it’ll be that way. It’s with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and with the iPhone X when and if comes out. So thank you again, Lou Ann.

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RUSH: Hey, ladies and gentlemen, “Allan Jones, CEO of Hardwick Clothing and Check Into Cash payday loan company, announced on Tuesday he is through with sponsoring the wardrobes and advertising on the NFL. Hardwick Clothing is America’s oldest suit maker.

In his statement Jones said, ‘Our companies will not condone unpatriotic behavior!’ The Times Free Press reported: ‘Two years ago, Cleveland, Tenn., businessman Allan Jones was proudly showing off his newly acquired Hardwick Clothing-brand suits by providing the wardrobe for NBC’s on-air talent during the network’s broadcasts of NFL football games.

“But after NFL players and coaches challenged President Donald Trump and many took a knee during the national anthem played before their games over the weekend, Jones said he is through sponsoring the wardrobes or advertising on stations that air the National Football League.” Same thing with the founder of Check Into Cash. They pulled ads from NFL games denouncing the league as unpatriotic. These are two sponsors, regional. Of course, the plug for NBC clothing is a big deal.

But here’s something else. And this, folks, I’m not sure but I think it’s unprecedented. How many of you are subscribers on DirecTV to the NFL Sunday Ticket? Well, if you know anything about it, if you are, you know that you cannot cancel, you cannot get a refund. Once you buy a subscription for the season, you own it. And it auto-renews unless you tell ’em you don’t want to. Until now.

“Paid subscribers to DirecTV’s exclusive Sunday Ticket package … have begun demanding refunds. That demand has grown large enough to pressure the satellite entertainment provider to reverse its long-held policy and give the money back.”

Remember all those people who said this is gonna backfire on Trump and who said that this is gonna end up a plus for the NFL? And it was never gonna be that. You cannot have a business nationwide marketed to every adult in the country, you cannot have that business grow when its on-air presentation features disrespectful actions to the symbols of the country. It isn’t gonna work.

I don’t care what leftists think of the progress they’ve made, and I don’t care what the media thinks or any of this. This country is still this country, and there are certain traditions and institutions that the left may think they own and control along with the media, but they don’t yet. There is no way the NFL grows out of this. It’s not possible. And this was one of the reasons I’m sad about it.

There’s so much more than that going on here.

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RUSH: Let me state here at the outset getting into the NFL Stack what this is really all about. It began in earnest with the focus by the media on brain injury, concussion, suicide, early death of players in the National Football League. Throughout every walk of life, the number of Americans who commit suicide is a greater percentage than those who play in the NFL. The number of people with brain injuries is far greater in other walks of life than in the NFL.

It’s not reported this way. Why? The effort here that is underway is one of two things: It’s either to destroy the NFL or weaken it to the point of taking it over. And I don’t think the people who work at the NFL have any idea what’s happening here, because many are themselves Democrats, and if they lean any particular way, it’s leftist. And they, I don’t think, understand the full force and intentions of the extreme activists on the left.

What we see is a protest against the flag. What we see is a protest against America led by Colin Kaepernick. But that’s not what’s driving this. What’s driving this is a desire to damage the NFL, because the NFL represents so much of what the left hates.

Now, this is gonna sound extreme to many of you who have not spent a lot of time listening here and who are not well steeped in the ideological formations of this country. And if you’re not steeped in them and if you’re not aware of just how ideological the left is and its objectives are, then hearing the truth of them and their intentions can be, “Come on, Rush, that can’t possibly be true.” But it is, and there’s evidence all over our country that what I’m going to say is true in other venues.

On college campus today, you can easily sign up for a course on the demasculinization of American culture. It’s a combination of efforts brought about by feminists and other uber-leftists who wish to create division in the country while slashing and chipping away at what they have considered the unfair power base that has run this country since the days of our founding. White Christians would be one way to characterize that group. White men would be another way to characterize that group.

But it is an assault on the traditions and institutions that define the country and its greatness and that have sustained it. They have successfully attacked and redefined marriage. They have moved on now to transgender things that confuse bathroom use. All of this is to divide people, and it’s to set up one side with the moral high ground and the other side guilty and they are the oppressors, and they need to be silenced.

There is an effort here to attack the NFL because the NFL has direct roots to patriotism, masculinity. It is all man. It is a man’s game. It is played by men, and there aren’t too many men who can play it at the professional level. It’s an attack on all of those things and institutions that the left thinks need to be erased in our culture so that we can have what they claim to want is a fair and equal and diverse society.

Now, if all of that makes you think, “You kidding, Rush? They don’t want to take out the NFL.” Yes, they do, folks. Because it stands as a strong and powerful signal of what they still have yet left to do. It also is a pile of money. The NFL is a giant pile of money that can be shaken down with lawsuits, the threat of lawsuits. The NFL can be accused of killing its employees just by being in business. There’s any number of ways that they’re going about this.

It’s underway. And the current iteration of this got started, Kaepernick taking a knee provided the opportunity for leftists to seize control of this and use it and expand it beyond whatever Kaepernick’s intentions were. He has become the face of it. He has become the victim example of the horrible unfairness and racism of the ownership and the league. The sports media falls right in line and paints that very picture. The sports media is covering the NFL in a way that makes the league impossible to look good and to shine and to grow.

What people don’t understand about the left, the left don’t understand live and let live. There’s no such thing. Anything that exists outside of what they think should exist is going to be attacked, and they’re going to try to damage it or destroy it. And they get around to everything eventually. The Republican Party’s been a long-held target. Conservatism is a long target they’ve had that will never go away. They have gone after any number of things. They’ve tried to blame SUVs and auto manufacturers for climate change, global warming.

You can pick your Big Pharma, Big Retail, Big Oil, Big Capitalism, any and all of it, look at the enemies list of the Democrat Party and the American left and you’ll find it all right there, everything that I mentioned. So what you’re seeing, this is not about bringing people together. It’s not about having people be permitted to protest, using their constitutional rights, over police brutality. That’s what you’re to think this is about.

What it’s about is making this league look bad. It’s about creating an image and an aura in the average American when watching this game that it’s dangerous and that it’s risky and maybe it shouldn’t be played. And already you see parents of junior high school students and high school students not letting their kids play football now. You see even some players retiring at age 25 after they see movies and read stories about brain damage and concussions.

The effort is constant, but the main thing they have done, they’ve taken the fun and the joy out of the game, they have taken the mystique out of the game, and the league is right in there unwittingly helping them. There’s simply no way for a business to grow. The NFL permitting its employees today what they’ve been doing since Kaepernick got it started.

People don’t watch the NFL for signs of equality and diversity and fairness and social justice. It’s not why people are watching. They watch it to escape all of that. They watch it for the mystique. They watch it for the magic, the athletic abilities of these people to do things that we can’t do. They watch these people perform victorious, rooting for the team, rooting for your fantasy football team. But now they’ve added a guilt to all of this. They have added this idea that you’re enjoying this carnage? You’re enjoying this barbaric display of cruelty?

And more and more people can’t escape it. Once the media begins covering that aspect of it, first and foremost, you cannot avoid it. You can try even when you watch a game, put that stuff out of your mind, you see a hard hit, “Oh! Oh! Oh! Is he dead? Is he gonna die?” Or some other thought like this that is not conducive to the business growing.

It’s not about the flag. They want you to think it is. And it’s not about police brutality. They want you to think it is. We are in the midst of an all-out assault on the National Football League, not just the game of football, but the National Football League.

In fact, if you look carefully now you can begin to see stories that I predicted two years ago were going to happen, which are these: Look who suffers the majority of these injuries: African-Americans. Seventy-five percent of the league. Look who’s suffering these injuries. Look who’s having and being forced to play this game in order to earn a living and then look in the owner’s box, and who’s sitting there? Wealthy white billionaires.

The racial component is starting to show now in various stories about this. And I’ve seen stories comparing the National Football League to modern-day slavery. You’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. The racial component. It’s all there, folks.

Everything the left does, everything history has recounted that they do and everything that we know that they do is contained in the last three to four years of the National Football League. So here we go with the sound bites coming up in a minute. Headline: “National Survey: Americans Agree with Trump on National Anthem — Sixty-four percent say national players should stand and be respectful.” Let’s see… “Majority of Adults Agree with Trump on Firing Athletes who Kneel During Anthem.” “64% Demand NFL Players Stand for Anthem.”

“50% Less Likely to Watch Over Politics.” “Stores in Pittsburgh That Sell Steelers Memorabilia Are Hurting.” Steelers fans angry at the team for staying in the locker room Sunday are already not visiting merchandise stores in such numbers that the owners of these little stores have already noticed it. PJ Media: “The millionaire players and billionaire owners in the NFL who fancy themselves the consciences of America aren’t really thinking big picture. There are people who aren’t fabulously wealthy who have to deal with alienated fans.

“This owner” and there’s a picture here “of a Pittsburgh sports store says the problems started Monday morning, after the Steelers stayed in the locker room… fan anger may not last forever, but it is very real at the moment and the league is ignoring it.” Oh, they are. The league is ignoring it. The owners are ignoring it. That’s why I think the owners are scared to death. They’ve gotta make a choice: Who do they side with? Do they side with the people who are angering the customers — that would be the players protesting — or do they side with the customer? And they’ve made their choice. But it’s changing. Now the stories are…

Here’s a headline: “All Patriots to Stand for Next Game Anthem,” and another team: All players to stand. “Cowboys Will Stand.” This is backfiring on the NFL. It’s backfiring on the protesting players exactly as you and I knew it would. Let’s see. “Trump Urges NFL to Ban Players Kneeling During Anthem.” Trump continues to double down. DirecTV is allowing NFL customers, Sunday Ticket customers their refunds. “The Green Bay Packers have asked fans attending Thursday night’s game to lock arms during the national anthem.” We have that on audio sound bites. Aaron Rodgers, audio sound bite number 4. Yesterday in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers speaking with reporters.

RODGERS: This is about equality. This is about unity and love and growing together as a society. And this week we’re gonna ask the fans to join in as well, and come together and show people that we can be connected and we can grow together.

RUSH: So it’s about “equality,” it’s about “unity and love and growing together” Of course, it’s very risky to say, “No, it isn’t,” but I take these risks all the time. That’s not what this is about. It’s what they want you to think it’s about, and it’s what they want you to think they are achieving and overcoming — while, in fact, they are dividing people by doing anything other than standing for the national anthem.

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RUSH: This is Monte in Richmond, Washington. Great to have you, Monte. How you doing, sir?

CALLER: I’m doing good, Rush. I just wanted to tell you I’m a 71-year-old deplorable, and I want to say thank you for all that you do for our country, and I have one million percent support for you and for our president.

RUSH: Thank you very much. You don’t sound 71 years old out there, Monte.

CALLER: Well, thank you very much. I like to pretend I’m younger, but that’s the way it goes.

RUSH: Well, that’s the way to do it! That’s exact way to do it. If you’re not 71 in your mind, then you’re not 71 in your heart.

CALLER: Yeah. That’s the way it is too. I’ve been listening to you for over 25 years, Rush, and I’ve tried and tried and tried to be able to tell you thank you. That’s all I really have to say today, how much I appreciate you, and I’m so looking forward to you being on Hannity tomorrow night.

RUSH: Well, thank you. Thank you very much. Yeah, Hannity is flying down here tonight after his program. He’s bringing a commie babe makeup artist who was vice president of makeup at Rush Limbaugh the TV Show. She’s now a facial arts vice president supervisor at Fox News, and my niece Kristen is on the Hannity staff (it’s a coincidence) and she’s coming down with the group. It’s gonna be a… (interruption) Oh, yeah. Old enough to be… She’s getting married next summer! Kristen’s getting married next summer. You should have seen the long faces of all the guys at Fox News when they found that out. (interruption) It just is. Everybody’s… We’re getting old; everybody else is too.

Hey, look, folks, if you doubt me on this NFL, let me ask you a question. These players, if they really cared about police brutality, why not just call a presser? You think they couldn’t get the national media assembled for a press conference? Do you think they could get somebody on MSNBC or CNN to give them a whole half hour on TV? Right. So why don’t they do that? Why are they doing this stuff to the flag? Why are they doing this stuff, linking up, kneeling? Why are they doing that before games? Why? To harm the NFL! The players, I don’t think, realize what’s happening here. I really don’t. But that’s what’s going on.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now to the audio sound bites. I want you to listen. All of these bites have something in common. Up first is Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks, last night on Anderson Cooper. Question: “Coach, do you feel what’s really going on here is Trump? Trump said today the protests were ‘disgraceful,’ saying, ‘I don’t think you can disrespect our flag, our country, our national anthem.’ You think that’s really what’s going on here, Coach?”

CARROLL: Absolutely not. I don’t see it anywhere pointed in that direction. What’s happening is players are rallying to protest and send out — out a message that they want to send out. It has nothing to do with against the flag or against the — the — the country or any of that. It’s the opposite. I think they’re talking on behalf of, uh, freedom of speech and the Constitution and — and having a message that they really want to impart on the rest of the people in the country.

RUSH: I admire Pete Carroll as a coach. He’s good at what he does. The players love to play for him. But that’s just caca. These guys are not… (chuckling) They’re not even thinking of the Constitution. Freedom of speech doesn’t even apply here! This is workplace. You don’t have the right to say and do whatever you want to at work. Let me ask you this. What would happen, do you think…? Snerdley, what would happen if during player introductions, a player ran out carrying a Confederate flag?

Do you think that they’d say, “Hey, freedom of speech! That guy’s got every right to say whatever he wants!” He would be thrown out of the league if he got out of the stadium alive. They’d probably have to put him on injured reserve before the game even started for what would happen to the guy. You think there’d be any tolerance for that? Hell, no! It’s not about that. It isn’t about freedom of speech. Remember Kaepernick. This all started… As far as the players are concerned, what they think, is it’s all about police brutality. Kaepernick laid it out:

“A country that doesn’t treat its people of color fairly and rightly. I don’t think I owe that country any respect or allegiance,” and that’s what everybody’s joining. But now when they’re being called on it, “Oh, no, no, no! We’re not dissing the flag.” Yes, you are! That’s what it looks like! When the flag is flying and the anthem’s playing and you take a knee or you sit on the bench (snorts), you’re not gonna convince anybody you’re thinking about the Constitution when that happens. You are asking for attention. You’re asking to be seen. You want to be seen so that when you’re asked about it you can complain about your grievance.

The players’ grievance is police brutality and inequality and all that. That’s what’s got ’em all revved up, and I wonder why. But you see, that’s just the face of it. That’s not the objective. What that is doing is exactly what it’s supposed to do. It’s disgusting people, and it’s causing them to tune out the NFL, because the objective is to harm the NFL as a business, and it’s succeeding. For every fan that boycotts, for every fan that cancels a TV subscription, for every fan that doesn’t buy memorabilia or tickets — for every fan that doesn’t watch the games on Sunday or Monday night — it’s working.

And the league, I think, is a clueless entity in the middle of this, as are the players. What interest…? Tell me this. What’s in it for the players for the league to lose money? What’s in it for the players for the league to lose television ratings and thus advertising rates? What’s in it for the players to lose audience? What’s in it for the league for that to happen? And yet what are they doing? They’re behaving in ways that make exactly that happen.

It is happening to even venerable franchises like the Pittsburgh Steelers who have — outside of the Cowboys, maybe — the most loyal fan base there is, and I don’t mean that to offend anybody. Seattle’s is loyal too. Don’t misunderstand. But they’re doing it. They’re making it happen. And this is a theme. They’re all backing away. They’re trying to back away from the fact that this is about dissing the flag. Up next is Pam Oliver, CNN’s Newsroom yesterday afternoon with Brooke Baldwin. “Pam Oliver, you’ve been in the thick of this. You’ve been talking with players. You just heard the president’s words. What are you hearing out there?”

OLIVER: I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and I noticed that players were not really distracted, but they were a little bit annoyed. They were ticked off. They were angry. Their emotions were all over the place, and I felt it was because of the president’s comments. And I felt they felt emboldened. We are taking this whole thing regarding social injustice.

BALDWIN: Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.

OLIVER: Not the flag, not the anthem.

RUSH: Really?

OLIVER: A lot of people are sort of missing the point and no one more than the president.

RUSH: So here’s another one. Another reporter, it’s not about the flag, it’s not about the anthem. Oh, yes, it is, Pam! That is how it started and that’s how it continues. It’s all about the flag, and it’s all about the anthem because that’s where all of this is happening. When asked it they say, “I’m for social justice and for equality and fairness.” It’s about using disrespect for the flag to call attention to themselves. It’s being done on purpose. But note how they’re backing away from this. “It’s not about the flag.”

Why are they saying that? Because it’s hurting. It is not helping. It’s not promoting equality. It’s not promoting unity. It’s causing division. And division in a big, giant business, does not lead to business growth. So they are realizing that what they’ve done and doing is hurting. So they want to keep doing it, but tell you that they’re not protesting the flag while they protest the flag. They want to tell you it’s not about the anthem when what they do is when the anthem is being played. Here’s another one. NFL Network reporter saying the same thing.

ADITI KINKHABWALA: That is one point that I absolutely want to make. At no point ever has any player who knelt or raised a fist or sat said that he was protesting the anthem or that he was protesting the flag. Not one. And I will borrow your phrase. This conversation has been hijacked in some way.

RUSH: No, it’s not. Stop the tape. I’m getting short of time here. Nothing’s been hijacked except the game. This is Aditi Kinkhabwala, Aditi Kinkhabwala. She’s a reporter here. The game is what’s been hijacked, Aditi, not the conversation. They’re all backtracking now. “It’s not about the flag. It’s not about protesting the flag. It’s not about the anthem.”

Well, then why is all this happening during the anthem? And why is all this happening when the flag is flying? It is about the flag, as far as the players think. They think it is. Kaepernick said it (paraphrasing), “I can’t support the country, I can’t offer allegiance to a country that treats its people of color this way.” Everybody signed up for that, glommed onto that. Now that it is hurting, oh, they want to keep doing it, while telling you it’s not about the flag.

Now they want us all to link arms in Green Bay tomorrow night to show our unity. It’s just gonna cause further division. There are gonna be people booing in the stadium when this happens. That’s not why they’re there. The game is being hijacked, not the conversation. Want to hear one more? Van Jones, CNN, NFL protests were never about the flag or the anthem he says here.

JONES: Any other president in a situation like this would be trying to rally not just the country, but the world to help what’s going on in Puerto Rico. Instead he decides to pick a fight with, you know, unfortunately African-American athletes. Now they’re saying these young men are protesting the flag. These young men are protesting the national anthem. That is not what they are protesting. They are protesting the fact in the neighborhoods they came from, where they go back to every Thanksgiving, where they get text messages from every day, there is real pain and suffering and police misconduct —

RUSH: All right. That’s enough of that. See, it’s not about the flag. It’s about the cops in the neighborhood on Thanksgiving or whatever. It is about the flag because that’s when it happens. It is about the anthem because that’s when it happens. And whatever reason they tell themselves they’re doing this, they are choosing to do it at a time everybody pauses with the idea of honoring America, and that’s what they are choosing not to participate in.

Now, they can tell themselves all day and they can tell us that it ain’t about the flag and it ain’t about the anthem, but that’s when they choose to do it. But the point is, it’s not working. It’s not creating unity. It’s causing division. People, fans are angry, and now everybody’s trying to band together and save the day. So they want to keep doing what they’re doing ’cause they love the attention. And the left wants ’em to keep doing ’cause the left loves the division and they love chaos. The players want to keep doing it ’cause they get some attention, but they want you to know it’s not about the flag or the anthem. No, no, no, no, no.

But it is. And what it really is about is damaging the NFL. I don’t think the players want to do that, folks. That’s what I’m saying here. There’s a lot of dupes in this, including the league and the owners who are signing up for all of this. A total misreading and a total misunderstanding of the fan base, the American population, a total misunderstanding and misreading of what these things mean, unity and equality and division. They think they’re being hijacked, the language is being hijacked, conversations being hijacked. The game has been hijacked, is all that’s happening.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The NFL and the Drive-By Media are trying to rewrite history right before our eyes. “It’s not about the flag. It’s not about the anthem.” Well, then stop protesting.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Erie, Pennsylvania. Mark, 45 seconds. Go.

CALLER: Hey, how you doing Rush?

RUSH: Fine. Thank you.

CALLER: Listened to you since you started years ago.

RUSH: Thank you very much.

CALLER: You’re welcome. Now, I wanted to let you know that a couple years back, you predicted this was going to occur. You said that they were after the NFL and SUVs and they’re gonna try to stop them, ban them, whatever. I don’t know if you recall that, but I do, and I thought I’d remind you.

RUSH: I appreciate that. I do recall it, but, you know what? It makes my day that you remember it. I’m not exaggerating. It makes my day. Folks, it’s a great affirmation to know that people actually hear what you say when you do one of these programs. It’s comforting to know that there are people like you out there, “Yeah, he heard me say it, people know it.” I appreciate that, Mark. Thanks much.

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