President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence “made football bow” in their campaign against NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, ESPN host Dan Le Batard conceded on Monday.
The Miami Dolphins’ requirement that players stand for the flag and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ threat to bench any player who kneels during the anthem were both clear wins for Trump and Pence, said Le Batard, the co-host of ESPN’s “Highly Questionable.”
Pence walked out of the Indianapolis Colts’ game against the San Francisco 49’ers after players knelt during the national anthem. Trump claimed credit for Pence’s walkout on Sunday, saying that he instructed the vice president to leave the game if players disrespected the American flag.
Le Batard’s co-host, Sarah Spain, trashed Pence’s walk-out as “a waste of money, waste of time and an embarrassment considering what else is going on in our country.”
Spain similarly slammed Jerry Jones, who said on Sunday that any Cowboys player who disrespects the anthem will not play.
“If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period. Period. We’re going to respect the flag,” Jones said. Spain characterized Jones’ comments as “unfair” to the players.
The Miami Dolphins implemented a similar policy on Sunday requiring players to stand for the national anthem. Three players who had knelt the previous week remained in the tunnel, although still standing for the anthem.
“All the more reason by the way for Pence and Trump to do this because now they can claim, look, we got the owner of the Dallas Cowboys in line on this. We got the owner of the Dolphins in line on this, because no one was protesting, three guys stayed back in the Dolphins locker room,” Le Batard said.
“These guys can now take credit for what was an easy stance,” he said, referring to Trump and Pence. “They made football bow.”
Another ESPN host, Jemele Hill, was suspended for two weeks on Monday after suggesting NFL fans boycott the Cowboys’ advertisers. (RELATED: ESPN Suspends Jemele Hill For Two Weeks)
That statement came after Hill stirred controversy by calling President Trump a “white supremacist.”