NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and Fox Sports football analyst Terry Bradshaw joined the Fox News program “Fox & Friends” and discussed the national anthem protests occurring at NFL games. These protests were begun by San Francisco 49ers quareterback Colin Kaepernick refusing the stand for the national anthem prior to a 49er preseason football game to highlight issues of social injustice and racial inequality and have since proliferated across the NFL and other professional sports leagues, as well as among fans and others who attend the games. Terry Bradshaw seemingly has a problem with these actions. Via Breitbart:
“I’ve never had a problem with people expressing themselves — it’s one thing great about our country and the First Amendment rights, everybody has them. I do have a problem with the flag. I am a man that loves the flag. I love the national anthem. I find it extremely disrespectful, but if in fact that’s what they want to do, then they do it. There are repercussions. I think that you are going to pay for it some way or another.
“I don’t mind what Colin is doing that’s bringing attention to it. I don’t have a problem with that at all. Absolutely no problem with it. I do have a problem when people in this country don’t respect our flag and national anthem, and all you got to do is look around. This country is getting worse and worse and more and more immoral and we’re rotting from within.”
Bradshaw doesn’t mind Kaepernick bringing attention to the issues through his actions, “absolutely no problem with it”. But he loves the flag and the national anthem and believes Kaepernick is disrespecting them. Furthermore, this disrespect is contributing, if not causing, the immoral rot of the United States. Bradshaw continued,
“All great empires die from within. We can’t talk about Jesus. We can’t mention that anymore. So we say ‘I’m religious’ – because if we say Jesus, you automatically are pigeon holed and kicked off the desk,” said Bradshaw.
“You can’t talk about it. The two vice presidential guys are going at it and they are both saying what? ‘We’re religious’. What does that mean – you’re religious? Everybody is religious.”
First, not everybody is religious. In fact, fewer people identify as religious than ever before. But maybe that’s Bradshaw’s point, however scattered. Second, what matters is that many people are still religious, publicly religious, which contradicts Bradshaw’s point. For example, the “two vice presidential guys” Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine have both invoked the name of Jesus Christ. As have Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton and President Obama. In the House of Representatives guest chaplains regularly pray to Jesus. More than 90% of Congress self-identify as Christian.
In other words, the vast majority of those who hold political power and/or hope to hold political power in the United States are religious and do invoke Jesus Christ.
It also seems un-Christian to equate the crumbling of Christian values and the downfall of America with peaceful protests over recognized problems in the United States. Is Bradshaw saying America would be better off with continued social injustice and racial inequality? Isn’t attempting to address those issues a moral good? Isn’t it “Christian”?