- The Washington Times - Monday, August 29, 2016

Radio host Rush Limbaugh lit into San Francisco 49ers quarter Colin Kaepernick on Monday for sitting during the national anthem at football games.

The National Football League, 49ers head coach Chip Kelly, and Mr. Kaepernick were skewered by Mr. Limbaugh in a monologue that went nearly 11 minutes long without interruption. The radio host blasted the NFL for hypocrisy over its handling of politically sensitive issues, Mr. Kelly’s response to his player’s actions, and a new American culture that politicizes everything.

“I’ve warned of the politicization of everything. There now doesn’t seem to be a single aspect of life in the United States that is not touched, that does not become controversial because of race,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “Thank you, President Obama. Even the national anthem has now become a matter of race.”

“It’s ironic that we have now a quarterback who was adopted and raised by a white family, who was scouted and signed by white scouts, was employed by white owners, the National Football League, decides now to steal the stage of the National Football League to make personal statements during the week he is about to be cut from the team because of his inability to play. I don’t now know if he’ll be cut. It’s a question for the 49ers to deal with.”

The radio host then said the NFL’s double standards when it comes to racial minefields could not be more transparent. He noted the league’s decision to deny the Cowboys’ “Arm in Arm” decal request, which would have honored Dallas police officers killed in a July 7 massacre.

“Other players in the NFL and the NBA can wear T-shirts saying, ‘I can’t breathe,’ which is a take on the Eric Garner situation in New York City, again misreported by the media,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “However, while Kaepernick can do what he wants and everybody applauding him and everybody saying he’s got the right to, he’s got the right to, that’s everybody’s cop-out.”

“While he can do that, while the St. Louis Rams players can run onto the field with their hands up mimicking ‘hands up, don’t shoot,’ the Dallas Cowboys were denied by the National Football League their request to put a sticker on their helmets this season to honor the five police officers killed in Dallas. So the Cowboys can’t do that. It’s too provocative, no freedom of speech there. League turned down the request. The Cowboys won’t be honoring the cops there and elsewhere, but Kaepernick can do whatever he’s doing to plaudits, to acclaim, to cheers and all these other expressions against America, tolerated, applauded, accepted.”

Mr. Limbaugh then focused on Mr. Kelly, saying that it was absurd to say that an organization that gives players curfews cannot control political protests inside the stadium.

“When this all came up, Chip Kelly said (paraphrasing), ‘I can’t tell a guy what to do.’ You can’t? You do every day. You give ‘em bed check. You give ‘em curfews. You tell them what time they have to show up in the morning and if they don’t, ostensibly they’re in trouble.”

The conservative host warned that political protests by professional athletes will continue to unfold, perhaps in ways linked to honoring the U.S. military.

Mr. Kaepernick told NFL reporter Steve Wyche last Friday that he refuses to “show pride” in the flag because the country “oppresses black people and people of color.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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