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RUSH: I guess the NFL outreach to our communities on our issues didn’t matter much. Thursday Night Football ratings down last night, preliminary overnight metered markets. The Raiders, it was a close game, apparently. I didn’t see it. I didn’t watch it. But the Kansas City Chiefs lost 31-30 on a last-minute, walk-off touchdown pass. The Drive-Bys are calling it a walk-off touchdown pass. It sounds like it was a good game, but I didn’t see it. And not as many people as used to see it saw it, because the ratings continue to plunge.

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RUSH: Have you also seen — I’m just setting a table here, folks, to give you an idea what’s on tap today — have you seen where President Trump and Vice President Pence have released a petition demanding that all players and fans stand for the National Anthem? And they’ve emailed supporters asking for signatures. They did this yesterday.

Now, this is according to the GOP’s website, but I saw it independently of that. The president has asked for a list of supporters who stand for the national anthem. Add your name below to show your patriotism and support, the petition reads, before asking for your name, your email and your zip code.

Think back to what you have been hearing all year about what Trump is going to be, a dictator, that Trump was going to be another Hitler or Mussolini. Did Hitler do online petitions? Did Mussolini do online petitions? Did either of those guys leave it up to public opinion when any of their agenda items came up? I don’t believe so. And the Drive-Bys can’t believe that Trump won’t let this go.

Oh, and there’s this. The CEO of the San Francisco 49ers, his name is Jed York. He is the son of John York and Denise DeBartolo York. Denise DeBartolo is the sister of Eddie DeBartolo, the former owner of the 49ers back when they had their Super Bowl dynasty. And he was perhaps the most popular owner in the NFL during his stewardship. He was run out of the league because he had some kind of collusion with the governor of Louisiana, Edwin Edwards, over gambling or some such thing. I don’t remember the specifics. But the father, Edward DeBartolo Sr., from Youngstown, Ohio was the patriarch of the family.

Anyway, the daughter, Denise DeBartolo, and her husband John York got the team. Now their son is running it. The 49ers is a team that Kaepernick played for. The 49ers is the team that Kaepernick told to go pound sand in March. They offered him a $14 million contract, and Kaepernick walked out on it for whatever reason, thinking he could do better or he was still in the protest frame of mind. But the guy that employed Kaepernick and the guy that says great things about Kaepernick has answered the media charge that there is no collusion keeping, quote/unquote, Colin out of the NFL.

And of course the sports Drive-Bys are not happy about this because they want there to be collusion between the owners to keep poor Colin Kaepernick out of the league.

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RUSH: Fort Collins, Colorado, home of Dan’s Bake Sale, this is Rick. Great to have you, sir, what’s up?

CALLER: I’m so hurt that Kaepernick and the MSN progressive cabal has culturally appropriated the great national tradition of NFL leisure time.

RUSH: That’s exactly what has happened. They have hijacked the National Football League and they’re in the process now of politicizing it according to the Black Lives Matter political agenda.

CALLER: And this is our safe space. We’ve never had politics here. It’s a uniquely American tradition going back for generations. And rituals that we have practiced, which are now being raped by these social justice warriors. They don’t understand it. They don’t appreciate our cultural identity.

RUSH: Oh, wait, wait, I know what you mean, but they’re threatened by it. They understand it enough to know that it’s patriotic, it celebrates and honors the military, it’s got toxic masculinity, and it is free of politics and therefore it must be taken over. They know full well what it means.

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RUSH: That’s right, my friends, a man, a legend, a way of life on the ever-expanding EIB Network.

Now, quickly I want to go back to our last caller. He did a marvelous job. He had less than a minute and didn’t know it and said everything he wanted to say. And I was not unilaterally completely disagreeing. His point was that these people that are corrupting the NFL don’t know anything about it. They don’t know anything about the football culture. They don’t know anything about what it takes to play the game, what you go through to get there play the game.

And on that he’s exactly right. You basically have a bunch of people who have literally heretofore shown no interest in it whatsoever. And about that he’s totally right. But my point is they know exactly what they’re doing. The NFL threatens them precisely because it’s outside their control. It’s outside — and up to now it’s been outside their ability to infiltrate, if you will. (sigh) I mean, look at the ownership structure and look at the executive structure of the NFL.

The usual open doors for a Black Lives Matter or Southern Poverty Law Center or take your pick of any left-wing group, to get in there and corrupt it have been shut off. And it represents things which threaten them. You understand, the left is not a bunch of people that can peacefully coexist with people who disagree with them. If you disagree or if you’re in opposition you have to be destroyed. You have to be shut down. You have to be eliminated one way or the other. They do not tolerate any disagreement or opposition. They’re threatened by it.

The left, remember, is totalitarian and authoritarian; they’re not democratic. And they cannot tolerate people being permitted to make up their mind which side of any issue they agree with. And so the NFL is the most popular sport in the country. It’s the wealthiest sport in the country. As such, it is a humongous target, and that’s all they need to know. Then they look at who loves it, and they hate the people who love the NFL. To the left, the people who love NFL are the same people that love NASCAR. They’re a bunch of Deliverance types.

They’re Southern, they’re hay-seed, they’re hicks, they’re gross, they’re not sophisticated. They engage in all of these activities the left finds reprehensible. You won’t find metrosexuals in the bunch, for example. You won’t find any transgenders in the bunch. There’s just blatant, toxic masculinity. There is rugged individualism confined in a team sport. There are routine acknowledgments of the military. Gigantic American flags are on display before every game.

It’s just… That can’t stand, and I’m not exaggerating, and I don’t want you to think that I am. All of the things I’m telling you are things that genuinely scare them and offend them and represent things they have to destroy or to diminish. Because those things threaten them and their existence, which is why they take over political parties. They take over universities. They take over Hollywood. There is no other way of thinking. There is no tolerance for other ways of thinking.

Now, some in this group don’t want to totally destroy the NFL. They want to keep it just big enough to fleece, shake down, what have you. Others on the left want to totally obliterate it because it represents a significant portion of America that will never ever cower and cave to what they believe. Except now the league is. Now the league is beginning to cower and cave. The league is allowing itself to become corrupted.

And the league and the game have been hijacked. It’s the players that have hijacked the game in the process of it, and this is what has fans so upset. Fans of professional sports, young and old, have an instinctive admiration for the people who play — and the greater the player, the greater the fandom. It’s just human nature. One of the fastest ways I have found to destroy that putting of people on a pedestal that’s part of loving the game, is that when the players are exposed as not being worthy of that kind of admiration.

That’s the first, that’s the first little dink in the armor, when the fans start thinking that players really aren’t that special. And then when that begins to cascade, then the love affair begins to, shall we say, water down and begins to wane. And that’s what we’ve been seeing happen right here. It’s been hang for a long time. I’ll tell you, folks, I think that this all began long ago. And this is not a wish to turn back the clock, to go back to an earlier time. I’m just going to make an observation.

And it’s not just at social media, but, rather the prevalence of so much media before, during and after each game takes so much of the mystique away that there’s nothing much left to, quote/unquote, dream about or imagine. With so much media coverage, it’s just… Every question you have now or every speculation, everything that you’re curious about now has an answer. And most of them let you down. They don’t lift you up. I remember when I was a kid — and I’m just using this as a comparative illustration, not a request to turn back the clock.

When I was a kid growing up, there was one baseball game a week on television, Saturday afternoon, and since CBS owned the Yankees, it was always the Yankees. If those of us living in Missouri loved the St. Louis Cardinals, we had to go to St. Louis. You had to go to the stadium to watch them. Occasionally the Cardinals would be on TV. But if you didn’t live in St. Louis, you couldn’t get TV stations from St. Louis over the air, you never saw your team unless they happened to make a national game.

And then that just added to the mystique. And when you got to the stadium to actually see the team, it was like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually see your team and the people playing it. Now it’s no big deal either way to see them. It’s no big deal to see them on TV. No big deal to see them at the stadium. The mystique is gone. And now the media is in a locker room before the game, on the field during the game, on the field after the game, in the locker room after the game, in the players’ front yards during the week. There’s no mystique left. And there’s no changing it. Don’t misunderstand me.

I think with whatever happened that began to erode — and I say mystique. There may be a better word for it. But as the mystique and as the questions that you always had but you never had the answers to — once those questions began to have answers, curiosity lessened. It just wasn’t as much. And whatever propelled from curiosity stopped being propelled. Now, I know that attendance has skyrocketed with all this media coverage and presence. I get all that. Don’t misunderstand. I’m talking about fan attitudes, and now with as much as is known about the people that play and own and run the game, it’s just less special.

It still is the NFL or it’s still Major League Baseball, but with players tweeting and all of this, there’s less of the idea that what they do is special and hard to watch and unique and special to see to now being everywhere. And so since it’s everywhere, it doesn’t take much to diminish it.

So when these protests began and you start having players openly disrespecting the symbols of the country, there’s only one way that’s going to be interpreted. And it’s not anti-Trump, and it’s not anti-police and it’s not anti this, it’s going to be interpreted as what it is: Disrespect for the flag.

I’m telling you, you add that to this, and bye-bye mystique and hello anger. It’s exactly what’s happening here. And it’s all by design. It’s all designed to get you to not want to watch this stuff anymore. It’s all designed to get you to lose respect for it. As far as the left is concerned, there’s nothing better that’s going to happen and for the people that play the game to start (raspberry) on the flag. From their standpoint, this is home run. And that’s what makes me sad about it.

Let me ask you this, just a little pop quiz, don’t know the answer here for you. If these protests ended this Sunday, if from now on every player stood, there wasn’t one player that took a knee, there wasn’t one player that linked arms, there wasn’t one player with a raised a fist, there was nothing but respect, are you going to forget all of this, and is the game going to once again be what it once was? (interruption) So you’re saying there’s no way that this can be rectified? You don’t know, but not this season.

Well, the protests aren’t going to stop. But I was just asking, if they did, if the commissioner this week had come out and said, “We have ordered our players, we’ve had meetings and we have ordered our players, they work for us, they’re going to stand during the Anthem,” would that have affected the way you view the league? Too late. Too late.

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RUSH: This is Denny in Nemo, South Dakota. Welcome, sir.

CALLER: Thank you, sir. It’s an honor to talk with you. My question is concerning the NFL players that are protesting against the flag. They say that they are protesting against police brutality in their communities. My question would be on their criminal histories. You know, a person, to be able to play in the NFL, does not have to be a bastille of moral turpitude, just extremely talented as far as physicality goes. How many of these guys have been arrested by law enforcement agencies in the course of their life?

RUSH: Well, you know what, that’s actually an interesting question. You’re asking if that might impact the protests that they’re having, the fact that it might be personal. Look, just off the top of my head here I can name four for you who have. But it is an interesting question. But you know, they’re going back and forth on why they’re protesting. First it was in support of Kaepernick, which was anti-flag, anti-cops. Now they’re saying, no, it’s not against the flag. Now they’re saying it is the cops and stuff going on in their communities. But that’s an interesting question.

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