'You'd be crazy to deny the right to expression,' Costas said on HBO's Real Time

One-hundred percent of Bill Mahers agree that President Trump is “consistently awful.” His latest evidence is the rant Trump fired off against free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick during a stump speech in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out, you’re fired,'” Trump said. Most worked out this to be a reference to the former 49ers quarterback, who protested police brutality by kneeling instead of standing during the National Anthem last year. (Other players have followed Kaepernick’s lead this season.)

“Maybe this is the place where we should play this out,” Maher said in response to Trump on Real Time Friday night. “Now, I think a guy should be able to not stand for the National Anthem.”

Sportscaster Bob Costas, a guest on the show, remarked, “Even people who disagree with [Kaepernick] recognize that you’d be crazy to deny the right of expression that the people they rightly revere — for having put their lives on the line to protect it and ensure it — why would you deprive someone of that right, even if you disagree with it?”

Costas noted how, “in effect, the owners collectively have told Colin Kaepernick to get the hell off the field because he doesn’t have a team.” Other athletes have joined Kaepernick’s stance, but Costas called the situation more “complicated” than how it may be perceived.

“The anthem doesn’t just represent the nation’s flaws or it doesn’t just represent the military or the police — as admirable as most policemen are, even given the rogue cops, and as admirable as the sacrifice of the military is — but that it represents the nation’s ideals, as well. That’s what makes this a little bit complicated.”

Maher was surprised that more athletes haven’t been kneeling and agreed that the intense reaction to Kaepernick has to do with the fact that he isn’t Cam Newton or Tom Brady, contracted players Costas pointed out. Though, the sportscaster said “of course” he’s better than most backups and many starters.

Watch their discussion (beginning at the 7:00 mark) in the video above.

Real Time With Bill Maher
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