On Friday, Fox and Friends First dedicated a segment to discussing the NFL’s new national anthem policy regarding kneeling — but the show's guest caused a stir.
Back in May, the NFL announced a policy that would require its players to stand for the national anthem. Failure to comply could result in fines, game penalties, or even suspension. The new policy became so controversial that the league actually backtracked, putting any new changes on hold for now. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones added fuel to the fire this week with these remarks during a press conference:
“As far as the Dallas Cowboys are concerned, you know where I stand, the team knows where I stand. Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe on the line,” Jones said.
Fox and Friends First played that clip then turned to its guest, Marine Corps veteran and New York state Assemblyman Kieran Lalor, for commentary. He strongly disagreed with the player protests of the anthem because, as he saw it, the movement, started by Colin Kaepernick, was based on a “falsehood.”
“This all started with Colin Kaepernick — and it's kind of based on a falsehood. He said there's dead bodies in the streets, there's people being murdered, and other people who murdered them on paid leave. Saying cops are just indiscriminately murdering black men in the streets. That's not happening. There are studies all over the place. The Manhattan Institute has a study that says that doesn't happen.
“... So I don't buy the foundation of this whole protest. Are there problems? Can we discuss them? Absolutely, but the way they've gone about it and their lack of really a conversation, a back-and-forth, let's find some common ground, let's find some solutions — totally absent.”
Fox and Friends co-host Jillian Mele added that it’s hard to have a conversation about racial issues, but didn’t provide a reason. Lalor filled in the blanks.
“You're right. One of the problems is, why it's hard to have a conversation, there is nothing worse than being called a racist. There is nothing worse for your career, there's nothing worse for you as a person. And a lot of people don't want to speak up because they're going to be accused of being a racist.”
That response sparked negative attention from viewers, who quickly took to Twitter to voice their concerns over the statement. They pointed out many instances that were worse than “being called a racist,” particularly pertaining to the African-American community.