RUSH: The NFL circumstance. What happened in Baltimore yesterday is not just what happened in Baltimore is what is fascinating, but the way the media — it’s classic how they don’t understand the average, ordinary American. It’s classic! And we’ll get to it eventually. I’m gonna tell you what happened. Well, the players kneeled, and then they stood for the anthem, and the PA announcer had some — the fans booed the PA announcer and the media doesn’t understand why.
They think the fans of Baltimore are reprobates for what they did. They haven’t the slightest idea why the fans booed the PA announcer. The media thinks the fans were booing prayer, and that’s not what was happening. These are the same people that still to this day cannot understand why 10 people, much less 60 million, voted for Donald Trump. It’s classic.
Now, to the National Football League and particularly in Baltimore. Yesterday was rivalry day for the Steelers and the Ravens. It may be the best rivalry in the NFL at this moment in time. It has lost some of its fervor because the Ravens suck. They’ve had a lot of injuries. I said that trying to be funny. They don’t suck. They’re not the team that they have been the past couple years. The Steelers may not be, either; time will tell. It was still intense, however, and the pregame featured both teams — I think both teams kneeling, some of the Ravens did, and then rising and standing for the national anthem, and yet the fans in the stadium booed!
And the sports media is beside itself. They don’t understand. They think they know why and they think it was horrible. Now, I want to play for you the fans booing. This does not contain — I don’t believe it’s only — maybe it does. They booed the PA announcer. That much the media understands, but they totally misunderstand why. So let’s listen. It’s 14 seconds here. Let’s see what this actually is.
(playing of audio — booing)
RUSH: There’s no PA in there, right?
PA ANNOUNCER: Thank you. (boing)
RUSH: (laughing) The PA announcer in Baltimore asked the crowd to pray for kindness, unity, equality, and justice. And that’s when the crowd booed. And the sports Drive-Bys don’t have any idea why. They think it is reprehensible. One sports Drive-By said the crowd booed players bowing their heads in prayer. No, they weren’t booing the players. They might have been booing the players if the players were kneeling at any point. They might have been booing the players if the players linked arms instead of hand over heart.
It reached peak hilarity Sunday in Baltimore when the PA announcer asked the crowd to pray for kindness, unity, equality and justice in America. The Ravens dropped to one knee and bowed their heads in prayer, and the audience started booing. This was before the anthem. Before they got to playing the anthem. And the sports Drive-Bys are beside themselves thinking, “Oh, my God, this is horrible, this is horrible. Fans are just so in a frenzy here, they don’t even know why they’re booing. But, boy, when you boo prayer, whoa, that’s it.”
Now, how many of you think, based on what I’ve just told you, what you’ve heard, that the fans were booing prayer? You think so, Mr. Snerdley? Okay, I don’t have anybody on the other side of the glass who thinks the fans were booing prayer. Remember, now, this is Baltimore. All I mean by that is Baltimore is not known for its right-wing conservative Republicanism. So if they weren’t booing prayer, what were the fans booing?
Folks, I happen to think that if you’re at the football game and you’re expecting some kind of controversy over the anthem and the flag and players kneeling or not, linking arms, showing respect for the flag or not. And when it’s time to play the anthem, when you expect the PA announcer to say, “Please rise as we honor America, and here’s so-and-so singing our national anthem,” and instead what you hear is a bunch of left-wing tripe, “Let us pray for kindness, unity, equality, and justice,”
I mean, that is pure left-wing social justice warrior language. And I am convinced that that’s what the fans were reacting to. They resent that intrusion into the game. But the sports Drive-Bys — this proves my point that the media makes the mistake of thinking that everybody thinks like they do, that every intelligent person, that every reasonable person, that every educated person, that everybody who knows what’s what thinks like they do. And so the PA announcer asking for people to pray for kindness and unity and quality and justice in America — now, unity is a red flag anyway.
Unity has become a left-wing term just like diversity has, and it doesn’t mean what they mean. Unity means you agree with them or else. Unity does not mean we are all unified in one patriotic belief. Unity means that you will agree with the left. You will agree with the social justice warrior types, and you will love it or else. Equality, they might as well throw in sustainability in there.
Now, it’s also possible that the fans were booing because there were some players kneeling. I don’t know if there were or not. I didn’t watch. The Steelers said they were gonna stand, but I don’t know if they all kneeled before the anthem was played. But I think fans that are upset at all of this recognize that language as divisive language. It’s not the language of unity. “Let’s all pray for kindness, unity, equality.” That’s, in essence, a criticism. That’s how the left criticizes the country. There is no unity and there is no equality and there is no justice, and that’s why all this stuff is happening, and people resent it. I don’t think I’m wrong about this.
Now, there is a related story. Ravens linebacker C. J. Mosley was not surprised when the hometown fans booed at M&T Bank Stadium. He said he wasn’t surprised while the Ravens took a knee Sunday before the national anthem, but the actions of the crowd he said did show him something. Quote, “Even though it was supposed to be a silent prayer, it was mainly boos. But it goes to show that it has nothing to do with the anthem. We stood up for the anthem because we respect the flag and respect the veterans and everything that got misconstrued with us taking a knee last week.”
Now, Mr. Mosley, I know that you are an intelligent man, but you have to understand the fans are not as dumb as you think. The fans know what these kneelings and the lack of respect is. It is to support Colin Kaepernick, and Colin was very clear about why he was not going to stand and salute the flag and do the anthem, because he doesn’t think this country treats minorities fairly and equally. It was an anti-America position that he took. The players now trying to say that this is not about the flag, it’s not about the anthem. It most certainly is. Kaepernick made it about that, and the fans are very much aware of this.
And one other bit of news that I want to repeat. Of all people, John King, somebody at CNN, announced on his Sunday show on CNN yesterday that he knows that the owners and the league know that they are losing viewers and attendance is down because of these protests. The league publicly will not admit that. The league has tried to say, well, it was the election and the Trump campaign. Then they tried to say it was Hurricane Irma and they’ve tried to say it was Christmas shopping and it was climate change and it was anything other than that.
They still haven’t admitted why. And attendance was down, ratings were down this past weekend, too. According to preliminary numbers, it was down again. Now, the thing to watch. We’ve already had some sponsors pull out, but they’re regional. The next thing to watch is to see if any of the highfalutin national sponsors of NFL telecasts or of the NFL enterprise, the NFL Network, the NFL website, if they begin, if one pull out or if two pull out, and people are looking at it because they’ve heard rumblings, ’cause this is far more serious than people in the middle of it want to acknowledge. The owners, however, according to John King at CNN — and I think this is true only because I think it’s true. Not because CNN’s credibility, fake news all over the place.
But this I think is right. I think they know. And even though they know, they are siding with the players. They’re making a calculation. Do not doubt me when I tell you they’re scared over the choice that they have to make. But they are choosing to be seen siding with the players. How many NFL owners endorsed Barack Obama in 2008? There were a few. Why do you think that is?
If your locker room is 75% African-American, and you publicly are holding fundraisers for, who was it, Romney, or if you are donating to Romney — but if you’re out there supporting Obama, isn’t it gonna make you that much more popular in your own locker room if you’re the owner? I’m just asking it. I’m throwing it out there as a think piece.
But, I mean, it makes sense to me that that would happen. In this case they’re siding with the players because they’re judging that if some fans tune out and don’t show up, that’s temporary, but if the players all unify and don’t show up on a Sunday, then there’s no product, and then there’s nothing to sell, and then there’s no TV money, and then there’s trouble. And I know that’s the decision they’re making. But they know.
Now, note what none of them think is an option. These people are all employees. This is workplace. And apparently — I could be wrong about this. I may not be fully informed, but apparently there isn’t — well, that I know of — there isn’t an owner or an organization which will tell his players, “You’re standing. For the sake of this team, for the sake of this league, for the sake of our business enterprise here, you are standing. And if you’ve got a problem we’ll deal with it some other way.” I’ve had bosses tell me what I can and can’t do all the years of my life, except the last 29 ’cause I haven’t had one.
RUSH: Okay. So the Ravens PA announcer asked for the audience to pray for justice, peace, equality, and unity. How many fans remember that this league pretty much kicked Tim Tebow out of it because he prayed in public? Remember that? Tim Tebow would take a knee after a touchdown or after a good play or something and remember how the league got nervous, TV announcers got nervous at this public display of worship? And now look. Now look. We’re asking the fans to pray for not God, no, pray for justice, peace, equality, unity. Why don’t you throw climate change in there? Cover every base.
RUSH: The left outside linebacker the Baltimore Ravens, number 55, Terrell Suggs — his nickname is T-Sizzle — and he said after the game yesterday, “We don’t want anybody to lose the narrative of why we are doing it. We don’t want people to think that we’re disrespecting the flag or the military or anything like that.” Mr. Suggs, that’s exactly what Colin Kaepernick said he was doing, and it is unity with Colin Kaepernick that is driving the actions of the players who are taking a knee or linking arms or not standing for the national anthem.
If you’re not disrespecting the flag or the military or anything like that, what are you doing? Why are you doing it? And this is what I say constitutes everybody backtracking now. I mean, it started out full bore, unity, solidarity with Kaepernick. And then it didn’t go the way the left thought it was gonna go. The left thinks everybody thinks like they do, which means everybody supports the players. Everybody thinks America’s racist. Everybody thinks the cops kill people indiscriminately. Everybody thinks the cops are racists. Everybody thinks “hands up, don’t shoot” happened.
No, most people don’t think any of that and resent having it jammed down their throats when they don’t want any of this kind of politicization of the game they love. So now backtracking, saying, “We don’t want people to think we’re disrespecting the flag or the military.” Why do it, then? With whom are you in solidarity if it isn’t Kaepernick? What are you doing? ‘Cause Mr. Suggs — Terrell Suggs, by the way, is a great player. And he’s an intimidating guy. He’s had two Achilles injuries, and he’s come back from ’em.
But all this is doing is hurting the National Football League, which is the objective of the people who support this. I’m not saying the players are trying to hurt the league. They may. Hell, I don’t know. I don’t know what they know and don’t, but I’m telling you, this is hurting the NFL, and that’s the objective. The objective is not to change the cops. The objective is not to raise consciousness. It’s to hurt the NFL.
The left sees the NFL as a problem. It stands in opposition to what the left wants this country to be and known for. The NFL contains all these things that on college campuses are trying to be weeded out. Masculinity, white privilege, in terms of the ownership, patriotism, rugged individualism, men being men. All of these things that the left is trying to scrub and erase as identifying factors for the United States. And whether the players know it or not, they’re unwittingly helping this along.
Yahoo Sports. Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, don’t ever confuse them with people like Ronald Reagan or me. Exclusive poll, Yahoo Finance poll, suggests the NFL has an enduring problem on its hands, not a temporary, but enduring. They interviewed 9,000 people at Yahoo Sports. They found that nearly 62% of 9,056 people told them they plan to watch less pro football in response to the anthem controversy.
In addition to 62% saying they’re gonna watch less, 36% said they’re gonna spend less. They’re gonna buy less NFL merchandise. Thirty-two percent have chosen not to attend a game that they otherwise would have gone to. So those people show up disguised as empty seats. Do you think that it’s wrong for players to kneel during the anthem? Seventy-seven percent, “yes.” And yet the left and the sports Drive-Bys and others think the country agrees with the players. If the anthem controversy caused NFL owners and players lasting financial harm, 10% say it would bum them out, 30% say they wouldn’t care, 48% said they would be pleased, if the anthem controversy caused the owners and players lasting financial harm.
Guys, this isn’t tracking in your direction. And your substitute here of kneeling while linking and then standing in time for the entire anthem, it isn’t the solution. All the people in the sports Drive-Bys and some of the player management, the ownership, “Oh, we got a great idea. We can do both.” You can, but it isn’t gonna work.
Here is Henry in Portland, Maine. Henry, glad you called. Thank you for waiting. Hi.
CALLER: Oh, thank you. A couple of quick points. You know, the reason why the Baltimore fans booed is because first the players disrespected the flag and the country. Now they’re disrespecting God because they’re using God as a tool, and that’s the only thing that they’re using it for because I don’t think they really care. And then the other thing is that now high school players and little lad football players were taking knees to protest a couple weeks ago. So now if they take a knee to pray I’m sure the left is gonna be totally happy for football players to pray. And so what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Let’s see what happens with that. How many football players on the high school level are gonna be suspended for praying but they’re just following —
RUSH: Hey, it’s a good point because you can’t pray at many high school commencements now, remember? That’s not new. That goes way, way back. Can’t pray, ’cause not everybody is religious, and you can’t force your religion on people by having commencement prayers. You can’t do a moment of silence at commencement, graduation, this kind of thing. You can’t do it because not everybody there is religious. We know that was it Cahokia, Illinois, a bunch of eighth grade football players have begun emulating the NFL and have been kneeling during the anthem.
You know the one Steelers player, Alejandro Villanueva, he was the only one seen standing for the anthem a couple of weeks ago in Chicago, two Sundays ago. He’s continually sought out by the media since that happened, and he’s made nervous by it. He’s an Army Special Forces soldier, and those guys have a lot of things drilled out of them. They’re not supposed to be standout. They’re not supposed to stand above and beyond everybody else. They’re supposed to blend in. It’s part and parcel of the training.
He’s very nervous being a focal point here. And I don’t know to whom he said that. But I found these quotes — I think these are fascinating quotes. Listen to what he said. “I think in life, you’re not prepared for a lot of things. I don’t think you’re prepared to have a kid. I don’t think you’re prepared to get married. I don’t you’re prepared to start one day in the NFL. I think it’s one of those things you have to take in stride and do your best, stick to your family values, stick to the things that you’ve learned throughout your life and try to make the best possible decision.
“I’m not a hero. I didn’t do anything in the military that was outstanding. If you were to compare me to my peers, I was average at best. This was a very unfortunate chain of events, and I just tried my best.”
This was his explanation as to why he ended up being the only guy seen standing for the anthem in Chicago. But what about this: “I think in life you’re not prepared for a lot of things. Not prepared to have a kid, not prepared to get married. And you’re not prepared to actually start one day, the starting lineup in the NFL. But when it happens, you use the best you have to make the right decisions.”
And I think that’s so on the money. There’s some things you can’t prepare for. There isn’t a manual on a lot of things in life. You just have to do it and you learn by doing it. And that’s where your foundational base guides you, your morality, your virtue, your sense of right and wrong, your conscience. You know what your conscience is. Everybody has one. It’s just that in many people it’s been allowed to be covered up, covered over and ignored.
But your conscience is the little voice in your head that always tells you whether what you’re doing’s right or wrong. Everybody has one. I say everybody. I mean, sure, there are probably some sick individuals with an exception who don’t. But it could be said — I think George Washington in a way said it, that conscience, your conscience is where your discipline is. And, you know, most people are gonna have many failings in that area.
But Villanueva is saying since there’s no real way to prep for so many monumental things that happen to you as a human being, you just have to do your best at the time, make the best possible decision.
RUSH: I got a note from Paul Shanklin, white comedian Paul Shanklin who does the parodies and comedy bits that we do here on the program. He said, “What’s wrong with that thing in Baltimore was that everybody thinks we’ve already got that stuff. The idea of having to pray for these things, it’s insulting. We have peace, we have justice. It’s the left-wing diatribe that the country is flawed and we have to accept the premise that the country is flawed and then pray for it.”
That’s a great point. I mean, one of the dividing lines on the left is, this is an imperfect country and it’s deeply flawed because we say so. And if you don’t agree with them, then you’re part of the problem, and there are a lot of us very proud of the county who don’t believe we’re deeply flawed, but we’re not perfect, either.
But just the left-wing agenda and the assumption that what they say is and therefore we must deal with it, that’s what is offensive. And I have no doubt that that was part of reason for the booing that was happening in Baltimore. That was before the anthem even started.