Sportswriter Jason Whitlock criticized professional sports players for kneeling and engaging in other forms of social justice activism before and during games.
During a Saturday morning “Fox & Friends” segment, the Outkick the Coverage partner called their actions “divisive” and said they’ve “run-off” a significant number of fans.
“I think we’re going to have to wait a little longer to figure out exactly what the impact is in terms of fan interest only because we’re at such an unusual time in global history, let alone American history and there are so many more pressing issues beyond sports,” he said. “I would tend to think though, my guess would be they’ve run off quite a bit of fans.”
Whitlock questioned whether today’s athletes understand the role of patriotism in the history of sports, which have always been “a celebration of Americana and our best ideals.”
“[A]nd to see the athletes, I don’t think they really understand the business and how they got there to the point where they’re making so much money, and the attachment of patriotism and how that played a role in that.”
Instead of caring “about the business,” Whitlock contended that players instead “want their popularity over social media.” (RELATED: ‘Don’t Act Like A Clown’: Mike Ditka Rips Kneeling Players, Says They Would Have Been Benched On His Teams)
“[A]nd I think many of them have been led to believe that these symbolic acts, kneeling during the national anthem, wearing t-shirts, putting say their name on the back of jerseys, they think they’re having real impact, and pushing the country forward,” he concluded. “I don’t think they fully understand the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. I don’t think they understand a strategy that leads to actual growth and improvement. What they’re doing is very divisive.”