Before the Miami Dolphins’ September 29 game against the Bengals, wide receiver Kenny Stills and safety Michael Thomas took a knee during the national anthem, as they have every game this season.
Of course, many Americans are not thrilled with protests like these, and it turns out one of those Americans is CBS play-by-play man Jim Nantz.
In an off-air clip published on Deadspin, someone in the broadcast booth who sounds quite a bit like Nantz comments that, “They’re gonna keep kneeling as long as they have cameras right in their face.”
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) October 14, 2016
Nantz’s tone seems to suggest he doesn’t approve of the protests and wishes his network would stop giving the players face-time during the anthem.
Nantz’s observation that Stills and Thomas will keep kneeling as long as they’re on camera is both mostly correct and entirely un-insightful. In fact, Nantz seems oblivious to the entire point of protest, which is to gain attention. That’s how you raise awareness of your cause and how you eventually compel change. Obviously the players want the cameras on them; they’re trying to call attention to social injustice, and how better to do that than on national television in front of millions of people?
(Though we should note that Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem before any cameras were watching.)
So yeah, Nantz’s comment was a little thick-headed. As always, beware the hot mic.