On Wednesday's MTP Daily, MSNBC host Chuck Todd led his show's panel in fretting over the NFL decision to bar players from refusing to stand during the national anthem, and seemed open to discontinuing the playing of the anthem at game after New York Times Washington correspondent Charlie Savage suggested it.
After Todd bemoaned that the decision means players "have to abide by the owners' political views," The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus declared that she never understood why people "have a cow" over the kneeling, and Savage pushed to end the "pageantry of hyper-patriotism" that began at the games after the 9/11 attacks.
During the show's "The Lid" segment, after MSNBC contributor and former RNC Chairman Michael Steele seemed supportive of the decision, Todd turned to Marcus and posed: "What I don't get here is, so they're saying they don't want players to express their political views, but the players have to abide by the owners' political views. That's what this comes across as."
After commenting that "I personally don't see what the big deal is about kneeling. Kneeling feels like a pretty respectful activity to me, " she soon added: "I have never understood why it was so disrespectful to the flag -- to have a cow about them doing it seems -- seems to me to be respectful to the Constitution to allow some respectful debate."
A bit later, Savage jumped in to suggest discontinuing displays of what he called "hyper-patriotism" at national games:
I think the long-term solution to this is just to depoliticize the games entirely. We didn't used to have all these, you know, "Let's stand and sing God Bless America." ... This goes back to the pageantry of the hyper-patriotism after 9/11. Sports doesn't necessarily need any of that, and it's just asking for trouble.
Todd then bolstered Savage's suggestion as the MSNBC host responded:
All the different times when we've gotten into these things about doing the National Anthem -- I think it was a World War I respectful thing. It's always been around a time of when we've been in, you know, about our democracy and stuff like that. And so it's showing respect in a moment -- tying the yellow ribbon when the hostages -- we're not in that moment.