RUSH: Trump will not let go of this NFL thing. Normally in the old days of yore, something like this would happen and a powerful Republican would offer a bit of criticism of some institution, and that would be it. The institution would react in mock outrage and make fun of or attack the Republican accuser, and it would be over.
Trump is not letting it end. Trump is not stopping until the NFL bends to his will. I’ll tell you something. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys… Sorry. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Capboys — that’s how you have to say. How about them Capboys? C-a-p-b-o-y-s. “How about them Capboys?” Jerry Jones owns the Dallas Capboys, and Jerry Jones says you either stand for the anthem or you don’t play. You stand or you’re benched. Well, the Drive-Bys today, the sports Drive-Bys are all asking, “What is the NFL gonna do to Jerry Jones? How is the NFL gonna punish Jerry Jones.
“Jerry Jones can’t do that,” is the inference when you read this. “What is the league gonna do to Jerry Jones?” Jerry Jones and the other owners are the league, number one. Number two, what’s gonna happen, and I got a little headline link that I just saw here on the Drudge Report, “NFL Owners Consider Rules Change Requiring Players to Stand.” It sounds like what the league is gonna do is move in the direction of Jerry Jones. But the sports Drive-Bys, man, are they hoping the league comes down hard on old Jerry, ’cause Jerry can’t do this!
Jerry can’t require his employees to do this, and that is the whole point. These players are talking about their platform. It isn’t theirs! How many times, my friends, have I spoken of the field of play in professional sports is the equivalent of the stage? It is. It’s the stage. And I will tell you when I first made this reference. I’ll never forget it. Dusty Baker was the manager, I think, of the San Francisco Giants. I may getting the team wrong. I’m not sure he ever managed the Giants. At any rate, it was a playoff game.
I think it was Dusty Baker. The manager’s kid, like five or six years old, was in the dugout watching the game, and somehow ended up… I think he was playing bat boy. The owner’s kid was wearing a uniform, playing bat boy, very young, single-digit ages, and the kid ended up dangerous am close to home plate where there was going to be a collision, a runner was trying to score. One of the, I think, Giants players had to scoop up the kid to get him out of the way — in the middle of the game!
I remember saying, “You don’t let people on the stage that don’t belong there! You don’t let nonperformers on the stage.” The NFL field is a stage. The stage is owned by the owners. It is their platform; it’s their stage. They are the ones that invest and pay for every aspect of each week’s games. Now, I know that there are deals with cities and state governments on tax favorability for building a stadium. I’m not trying to get in the weeds here. My point is, the players don’t own any of it. They are employees like you and me.
And any employee taking time-out from the job to protest America, the flag, or whatever… If you went into McDonald’s, you wanted a Happy Meal and you had to sit there and listen to the clerk or the checkout person preach to you about police brutality and all, what would you do? Would you expect the media to come in and support the so-called right of free speech for McDonald’s employees to do this while you await your Happy Meal?
Put yourself in any business and have the same thing happen and ask if you would be expected to sit there and put up with it and shut up and not disagree with it and understand they have a right. “They have a platform! They’re protesting the evils of America, and you have to listen to it.” What’d you do? You’d walk out of the place. You wouldn’t put up with it. You’d tell other people what happened, and nobody else would show up. Which is exactly what’s happening in the NFL. Last night’s ratings, Monday Night Football, in the tank, according to what I just saw.
Not a record low, but way, way down. In fact, it was a dull game. You know, I didn’t watch it, but I’ll tell you what I did do. Well, I was working. I’m always working. It’s not work, but I mean to define the activity, I’m working. I’m reading. I’m preparing. I’m remembering. I’m logging. I’m injecting my memory with things that I expect to be there on immediate recall. And I decided to check the game. I had the TV on.
I was watching some shows I’d recorded last week and hadn’t had a chance to see. I tuned in and the score of the game near the end of the first half was 3-2. And I said, “This has gotta be the biggest bomb of an NFL Monday night game in recent –” 3-2? That means a field goal and a safety? Or maybe it was 2-2. I don’t know. Then the next time I checked it was 17-17 late in the fourth quarter, it looked like they might be heading to overtime. But that didn’t happen. And I was telling myself, this is not good.
And then I noticed something in all of the — you know, I look at video highlights. And I’m noticing, I’m not seeing any more shots of the upper decks at NFL stadiums. And I said to myself, “Why am I not seeing, you know, wide shots that show the full stadium dynamics?” It’s because there’s some empty seats up there, probably. And the broadcast networks obviously, their partners are the NFL, they’re doing what they can. They’re starting to televise the national anthem less.
But wait. I thought the players had a platform. I thought the players could demand. No, no, no, the players don’t own it; the owners do. This is why so many people, led by me, have been asking, what are the owners — they got a choice here. They’ve got one of two choices. And they’re choosing to go with the side that’s actually hurting them. The way they look at it, either choice they make is gonna hurt them.
Joe Namath was on Fox, was it this morning? Yeah, Joe Namath, Joe Willie, and they played a sound bite of me claiming — not claiming. I didn’t claim anything. I said that I don’t think the NFL knows its audience. The NFL, like the Democrats, they lead their own polls and believe them. These CEOs and marketing people, advertising people watch the media, and they really think the country’s gone left of center culturally, and that’s who they think the audience is. And they’re dead wrong about who their audience is, and that’s why they side with the players.
They think the players are actually exhibiting behavior that reflects a majority of thinking in the country. In other words, the people that run the NFL probably do believe that most of the country is livid at the cops. Because if they watch any news, other than Fox, if they read the New York Times, Washington Post, you know they do, that’s the picture of America they get every day. And as incurious as people on the left are, they may believe it.
That’s why I think that they really misunderstand who their audience is, despite their expertise in marketing and all that. You can tell who their audience is by looking at the most frequently advertised product. And it’s not the wine and brie crowd.
Well, anyway Namath made the point that the Afro-Americans — that’s what Al Davis said. That’s cultural too. At one time they were Afro-Americans, then became African-Americans, then black, and went back and forth. But there was a certain era in America’s recent past where the term was Afro-American.
Al Davis called me one day in the 90’s after seeing me talk about tax cuts with Paula Zahn on Fox News. He called me to tell me how his Afro-American players don’t understand their position, that they’re part of the wealthy that are being targeted. But they don’t think they are because of their life experience.
RUSH: Anyway, I was gonna say, Joe Namath was saying that he really relates to the cause of the Afro-Americans and their belief that the police mistreat them and so forth. But then he went on, he made the point that he doesn’t understand the owners. The owners own the stage.
Here, grab audio sound bite number 17. It was Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade talking to him. Do you think this is crisis time for the NFL? Audio sound bite 17. Here it is.
NAMATH: I’m not sure it’s a crisis time. I don’t think the sport’s ever gonna go away. But going back to what Colin Kaepernick initially did, it was to point out some injustice that’s being done to the black race or to people that obviously, when you look — and I say “obviously” — some of these dash cams and shootings that were done to unarmed people and all, he was reaching out to try and get it more investigated. So that’s what’s where this oppression thing comes in.
RUSH: I’m going to give Joe a pass in misunderstanding what Kaepernick was up to because Joe, I know what Joe is doing here, and I don’t blame him. He’s royalty in the NFL and he’s not gonna start causing fights. But this is what he said about the owners.
NAMATH: I don’t understand the NFL owners. I mean, here we’re working, if somebody walks across here with a sign right now protesting, excuse me, you’re gonna let ’em do that? No. Well, initially when this took place, that’s the NFL ownership. They own that theater at the time; they own that stage. Are you gonna allow protests out there? They don’t allow players to wear different signs on their shoes. They don’t —
KILMEADE: The NBA has to stand for the national anthem.
NAMATH: You know what? That’s because they’ve been told to. But no one told Colin Kaepernick prior to that that they had to. We just assumed it was the right thing to do, it’s always been the right thing to do, to live in this country, thank the Good Lord.
RUSH: Joe is really wanting it both ways here. He goes out of the way to establish understanding and support for Kaepernick and then pulls it back by claiming, why’d the owners let him do it? Which really is the question, when you get right down to it.
By the way, I love all these people now referring to the field as a stage. Go back to the audio graveyard here and you’ll find that I initiated that, at least in the modern era. Probably can’t claim original credit. Somebody’s obviously said that. But he’s right.
RUSH: Donald Trump has praised Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys threatening to bench anthem protesters. There were many calls for the league to come down on Jerry, and it looks like the opposite is gonna happen. I was looking at the sports Drive-Bys today and they were livid and they were eager… You could tell by the way they were writing that they were eager awaiting what they thought was forthcoming: The league coming down hard on Jerry Jones, telling him he can’t say things like that.
The way it’s turning out? “NFL Owners Consider Rules Change Requiring Players to Stand.” Things are moving in Jerry’s direction. Well-known activist Al Sharpton is demanding that… What is this? I put it on the bottom of the Stack. Al Sharpton Furious Over Jemele Hill Suspension, ‘We Won’t Stand for This.'” Grab the Mama Told Me Not to Run Al Sharpton parody tune, one of our all-time favorites here from the Grooveyard of Forgotten Favorites. We will have that coming up.
Mike Ditka, the former coach of the Chicago Bears, was on with Jim Gray on Westwood One’s Monday Night Football pregame show, and Mike Ditka said, “There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of. Now maybe I’m not watching it as carefully as other people. I think the opportunity is there for everybody — race, religion, creed, color, nationality. If you want to work, if you want to try, if you want to put effort in, you can accomplish anything. And we have watched that throughout our history of our country.”
Jim Gray was interviewing him. Ditka said, “I don’t care who you are, or how much money you make, if you don’t respect our country then you shouldn’t in this country playing football. Go to another country and play football.” Then he was asked about sporting legends Muhammad Ali and Jesse Owens “using their platforms for social justice.” Ditka said, “Muhammad Ali rose to the top. Jesse Owens is one of the classiest individuals that ever lived. Is everything based on color?
“I don’t see it that way. You have to be colorblind in this country. You have to look at a person for what he is and what he stands for and how he produces, not by the color of his skin. That has never had anything to do with anything.” Ditka clearly doesn’t get identity politics. He hasn’t seen any oppression in the last 100 years. (summarized) “Muhammad Ali? What are you talking about? He rose to the top. He was the greatest ever. Where’s the oppression?”
That’s Ditka’s thinking on this, and another ESPN host has decided that Trump is winning and they can’t stand it. This host said that Trump is making football bow, and this is in reaction to the story that the owners and coaches are pressuring players to stop kneeling during the anthem. Another ESPN host, “Damn it, Trump’s winning! Damn it, the league is bowing!” That takes me to one of the points that I want to make here today about Trump and people that still to this day do not understand him and what he’s doing.
Here it is in one sentence: With Donald Trump as president, the Drive-By Media cannot drive by stories as they please any longer. Remember what the definition of the Drive-By Media is. They arrive on the scene of some event and they blow it up — filled with lies, misrepresentations, distortions, leaks, whatever — and they create and cause general havoc. And then they leave. And everybody else has to pick up the mess, people whose lives have been damaged or in some cases destroyed — institutions that were under assault, whatever.
The Drive-Bys come in; they blow things up. They head on down the road waiting for the next event. Well, with Donald Trump as president the media is not allowed to behave as they normally behave. In other words, they’re not getting away with driving by. Donald Trump is forcing them. Every issue Drive-Bys want to blow up, Donald Trump stays on that issue and counters them and fights against them and does not let them automatically create and drive the narrative. I think it is undeniable that Donald Trump serves as a roadblock, if you will, to the Drive-By Media.
By this I mean that stories that might have come and gone with issues and reputations all shot to hell and left to rot for the next narrative. These stories are kept alive. Trump can take to Twitter, make a comment. The media’s next narrative comes to a screeching halt and they’re forced to return to the scene of their previous crime. The media had their way. Time to target the NFL over concussions? Do it. Players start protesting police brutality? The media blows that up; supports the players. “Yes, America sucks! The cops are racist.” Trump arrives on the scene and the media doesn’t get the last word.
The media doesn’t get to own the story. Trump fights back. Trump keeps fighting back. Every response to Trump, he gives it right back again. The Drive-Bys do not get to own the narrative. In so doing, Trump is emboldening others to fight back. It took a while in the NFL, but now here is Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys fighting back. Not all the owners were on board with the media narrative in the first place, but they were silent. There were many owners that donated to Trump, voted for Trump. They haven’t said a word about this. Other people in their organizations have.
But these particular owners or head honchos haven’t. Trump is forcing the issue back down the media’s throat, back downs the players’ throat, keeping the media reporting on the story in a way they wish they didn’t have to. All of it’s kept alive, emboldening people to ultimately do the right thing or to bend to Trump’s view on this, as is now happening. And the Drive-Bys fit to be tied over it. The Drive-Bys and sports media are wishing the league would punish Jerry Jones for saying that his players that don’t stand are not gonna play.
They want the league, they want the commissioner — who any other day of the week they despise. They want the commissioner to come down on Jones. They want him to fine Jerry Jones. They want him suspended. They want Jerry Jones made an example of. The story’s now circulating that Jerry Jones is the epitome of modern-day slave owners, and Trump is not having it. Like I said many times: This is what pushing back looks like. This is what fighting back looks like. It’s not gonna be pretty. It’s going to be messy.
The Drive-Bys and their agents on the left are used to getting their way. They get to write the narrative of the story; they get to decide who gets punished. They get to decide who gets harmed — and then they’re done, on the road, down to the next event to cause the same type of thing. Trump is keeping them at the scene of the crime. Trump is not letting them define things. For example, Donald Trump is not going to let the Colin Kaepernick-inspired anthem inspired protest go until he’s good and ready to let them go.
And because Trump is not done with them, there is a better chance of a long-term resolution to this rather than a continued deterioration. Because Trump stays on it. Because Trump doesn’t let go and doesn’t let others up for air. The league is going to be forced to do the right thing and deal with this and shut it down so people can return free and able to watch a football game without being preached to by a bunch of radicals.
The solution is going to be for the players to find some other way to express their grievance, but not on the stage they don’t own. They’re not gonna be silenced. They’re not gonna be shut down. They’re just going to be told, “You can’t do it on my stage, buddy. You don’t own it, and I am not gonna support this.” That’s a dire consequence change from the original owner reaction.
The original owner reaction was based in fear and fright. They all felt they had to join the players in this or otherwise lose their locker rooms and maybe, in the worst-case scenario, deal with players who would not show up and play. And so they took the path of least resistance, which is letting the inmates run the asylum.
Not Trump, though. There’s gonna be conflict. But direct confrontation is better than leaving an infected wound untreated. A bitter, direct confrontation where victory emerges and the right thing ends up happening is worth it. Trump’s tweet about ESPN this morning has added a new dimension. ESPN’s attached to the NFL’s hip. Multiple billion-dollar industries are at risk of alienating lots of zeros off of their checks. This call for a sponsor boycott? Guess who’s not putting up with it? It’s not just ESPN. It’s Trump joining the fray.
It would be easy — I’ll give you another example — it would be easy to let Republicans drop the ball on Obamacare and then blame ’em in 2020. It’d be easy to let the Republicans drop the ball on tax reform or immigration. You remember the Drive-Bys said Obamacare’s dead, Obamacare’s the law of the land. Nobody told Trump. He’s still fighting for it. The Drive-Bys say tax reform, not enough time to do it, isn’t gonna get done by Thanksgiving, Congress isn’t gonna do anything, they’re proclaiming victory over Trump.
Trump says, “Wait a minute. I’m not through here. We’re gonna get tax reform. We’re gonna get immigration done.” Introduces a 70-point immigration plan, tells Chuck and Nancy if you want your DREAMer deal, you’re gonna get along with all the rest of these points, we’re gonna build the wall. Chuck and Nancy expectedly say “no way, Jose.” Everybody else would have dropped it.
When the media said it’s over, Obamacare remains the law of the land, other Republicans — and they did. “Okay. Well, we tried. We tried. Our voters know we tried and we’ll kick the can down the road and we’ll stop ’em on the debt ceiling in six months. That’s where we’ll really confront ’em,” which we’ve been hearing for seven years, but they never confront and they never stop.
Trump is keeping these issues alive. He’s keeping the issue alive. In the process he’s making it possible to kill Obamacare by continuing to return to Obamacare as an issue. He keeps pressure on Republicans to act. The media can’t just move on. The media can’t proclaim victory for the Democrats or for Obama on Obamacare as they did because Trump doesn’t let go of it. They have to cover what President Trump says and does. And if he says we’re still gonna build a wall and we’re gonna have a massive immigration reform plan with these 70 things in it, they’ve gotta cover it.
They can’t say Trump lost. Just like they can’t say Trump lost to the players of the NFL. The media is 100 percent invested in protecting the legacy of Barack Hussein O. If Trump even hints at diminishing Obama’s regulations or policies, the media has to speed back to the issue hoping to shoot down Trump’s plans before he acts. But it is Trump that is driving the train. It is Trump driving the issue. It’s Trump refusing to let ultimate victory be claimed by the Democrats or by the media.
He will not let border safety go. The media would love nothing more to leave that issue for dead and to claim that Trump lost. Not gonna happen. The Drive-By Media is as worried today as Hillary Clinton. They’re all asking, “What the hell is happening? We’ve got the dumbest guy we’ve ever had in the White House. We got a guy that doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s an open idiot, he’s such a clown that he’s not even running the country. His subordinates have to run the country ’cause he’s so dangerous,” and yet he keeps beating them. This is what pushing back looks like. Trump is a roadblock to the Drive-By Media.
RUSH: Steve in Orange County, California. Hi. What’s happening?
CALLER: Sir, Rush, what you were just saying about Trump is what I was calling about, which is that people forget he’s a real estate developer and spent his whole career being told “no” for years and years until finally someone said “yes” and made it happen. And so the media, the Drive-Bys, they cover what he does almost like a failed jailbreak attempt every week, right? It’s sensational and look at this, we got Trump again, right?
But, meanwhile, he’s breaking out of jail more like that guy in Shawshank Redemption, like three pocketfuls of dirt every day and then one day he’s gone, right? But Trump’s got the patience and the determination to just wear everybody down. I think people forget that, that he’s used to dealing in timeframes that are years or even a decade long, and they all have an attention span that lasts like eight minutes.
RUSH: Well, the thing about his timeline that he’s working on, I think you’re right about. But the important point you made is actually an echo of a point I just made, but I’m not accusing you of anything because you called before I said it. Trump is the one — folks, ask yourself. I remember the Drudge headline. It was a lead headline above the fold of the Drudge Report: Obamacare: Law of the Land, after the supposed last vote had failed, one of many so-called bills in the Republican Senate, and of course Susan Collins and whoever the hell else, Murkowski voted “no” and McCain, and everybody said that’s it, Obamacare survives, and yet who is still trying to get rid of it?
Just today while sitting next to Henry Kissinger, Trump said, “The reason I called the Democrats is because it’s imploding. It’s hurting people. We’ve got to do something about it.” Trump doesn’t take “no” for an answer. How many times have they claimed in the Drive-By Media that Obamacare has failed for good since March? Why is Trump still even messing with it? The media has told us at least three times since March that every effort to get rid of it has failed and it is now with us forever. And yet Trump’s still on the case.
This is exactly what I’m talking about, roadblock for the Drive-By Media. He’s not letting them move on, after they have in their own minds successfully repelled yet another Republican attempt. And the same thing’s happening on tax reform and a number of other things, immigration, you name it. He’s not letting go. Defeat is not permanent.
RUSH: Do you all remember when the NFL scandal began? Now “the scandal.” But when Trump first called out the NFL and suggested that the owners should fire these SOBs for not standing, do you remember what I said? Among the many things, do you remember what I said? I said, “No way Trump does not win this thing. There is no way Trump loses this.” Everybody else said, “Why did he do this? There’s no way Trump can win this!” I said, “Ah, ah, ah, ah! It’s the exact opposite.”
There’s no way you can lose standing up for the flag and the anthem and the American military. The people that are gonna lose are the people who want permission to openly disrespect it or protest against it. I have here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers a memo from the commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, sent to chief executives and club presidents. Today. Subject: “Fall Meeting/National Anthem.” It opens thus: “We live in a country that can feel very divided.
“Sports, and especially the NFL, brings people together and lets them set aside those divisions, at least for a few hours.” Do you see where this is going? “The current dispute over the national anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country. I’m very proud of our players and owners who have done the hard work over the past year to listen, understand and attempt to address the underlying issues within their communities.” Da-da, da-da, da-da, da-da, da-da.
“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”
Translation: Commissioner Goodell of the National Football League has sent a memo to owners, executives, and presidents to stand for the national anthem. (interruption) “What happened to him?” (chuckles) What do you mean, “What happened to him?” (interruption) No… (interruption) No, of course it wasn’t… (interruption) I told you: There’s no way the people standing for the right to oppose the flag, disrespecting the flag, the anthem, the military — no way that was gonna end up winning this. That Trump was gonna win it.
“What’s happening?” Have you seen the TV ratings? Now you’ve got NBC and New Black Panther anchors calling for a boycott of the sponsors, to both the NFL and ESPN? (Unknowingly, I think.) You’ve got television ratings dropping. You have got fewer and fewer people going to the games. What’s happened is, the NFL’s learned who its audience is. What do you mean, “What’s happened?” (interruption) I know, they all were. They all were thinking this Trump guy’s a buffoon! He can’t tell us what to do! Our players are the greatest players in the world!”
This is why you keep fighting! This is why you don’t let the issue go, why you don’t let the media decide who wins and who loses it. There’s only one reason this happened, only one. No, that’s not true, because actually the fans made this happen. But without Donald Trump, the fans would not have been listened to. Without Donald Trump, the fans would have, “(Raspberry) you!” I guaran-damn-tee you, folks. I’m telling you, this IS what everybody’s talking about when they say, “You don’t win it all in one election.” Once you win the election, this is the kind of stand-up to this stuff that has to happen issue by issue.