John Oliver wasted little time before tearing into Donald Trump on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, following 48 hours of the president’s attacks against NFL players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.
“How is kneeling in front of a flag more disrespectful to it than grinding it against your gnarled old boner,” Oliver said Sunday after flashing a photo of Trump hugging an American flag and pressing it against his body.
Trump’s campaign against the NFL started on Friday during a rally for Alabama Senator Luther Strange. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!'” Trump said, referencing players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and injustice (a movement embodied by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick). “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
Said Oliver on Sunday: “I’m afraid it is true: The President of the United States took time out — while, it is worth noting, over 3 million American citizens in Puerto Rico are without power — to call Colin Kaepernick a son of a bitch.”
Trump’s comments were slammed throughout the weekend and more than 200 players kneeled in protest during Sunday’s games. Numerous other players locked arms in a show of solidarity against Trump (the president, for his part, claimed the arm-locking was done in “great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country”).
“Even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell denounced the president’s comments,” Oliver noted on Sunday. “And when you have lost the moral f—ing high ground to Roger Goodell, something is horribly wrong.”
In addition to Trump, who has continued to attack the NFL into Monday morning — without a mention of the environmental disaster in Puerto Rico — Oliver also took aim at Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, who ranted against players for kneeling.
“America has been incredibly good to every one of you from the time you displayed talent in sports as a youth. America’s allowed you to shine and become financially prosperous. There are so many of you who make tens of millions of dollars,” she said in a segment on her Fox News show. “Shame on you, shame on all of you!”
Said Oliver in response, “Wow, but you know what, she is right. No one wants to hear about politics from a wildly successful athlete. You only want to hear about it from an abject failure of a prosecutor who somehow let Robert Durst slip through her fingers. And by the way Jeanine, there’s a flag behind you. Have some f—ing respect.”