NBC Frets Super Bowl Halftime Show is ‘Personal Affront’ to Colin Kaepernick

While Thursday’s CBS and ABC morning shows focused on security plans for Sunday’s Super Bowl in Atlanta, NBC’s Today show hyped “controversies erupting on multiple fronts” ahead of the big game, including whining about left-wing former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick not being signed to an NFL team.  

“The NFL taking heat over canceling Maroon 5’s pre-game press conference, the band under fire for agreeing to perform the Super Bowl Halftime Show in the wake of protests sparked by former player Colin Kaepernick,” correspondent Gabe Gutierrez declared during a report in 7:30 a.m. ET hour. The on-screen headline blared: “Kaepernick Controversy Resurfaces; Goodell Addresses it After Halftime Show Presser Canceled.”

 

 

Complaining that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was “now downplaying the controversy” in a Wednesday press conference, Gutierrez noted: “That answer didn’t sit well with many Kaepernick fans on social media, who say Goodell dodged the question.” The reporter concluded: “Controversies erupting on multiple fronts as we head into Super Bowl weekend.”

Immediately following the report from Gutierrez, co-host Craig Melvin conducted a softball interview with Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos, who was given a platform to push conspiracy theories about his client’s professional football career coming to an end. Referencing President Trump’s criticism of Kaepernick, the lawyer ranted: “...the collusion actually was the NFL kowtowing to the President. I mean, it’s clear....anybody who’s got a couple of neurons firing that wouldn’t say this is collusive activity.”

Melvin followed up by worrying that musicians agreeing to perform in the Super Bowl halftime show were offending Kaepernick: “As you know, a number of the halftime acts have taken heat for performing at the Super Bowl this year, Maroon 5, Big Boy, Travis Scott among them. Does Collin Kaepernick see their participation during the halftime show as some sort of personal affront?”

Gergagos launched into a tirade condemning the performers:

I think what it says is, number one, they do take a lot of heat, and I think rightfully so. I mean, the idea that you’re going to basically cross a picket line – because that’s what they're doing, they’re crossing an intellectual picket line. They’re saying to themselves, “I care more about my career than I do about whether what I’m doing is right”....could cross the intellectual and ideological picket line, I think there’s something wrong with that and they should be called out.

Melvin lamented that given the “successful season for the NFL” in which “ratings are up,”  Kaepernick’s “mission” might have “failed.” Geragos rejected the notion and bizarrely tried to blame Russia for the controversy swirling around his client’s national anthem protests: “I think he opened the door to a robust discussion. And I think there’s also an element of this, there’s been quite a bit of reporting, that basically the so-called divisiveness that this caused was actually ginned up or generated by a Russian disinformation effort.”

While NBC hyped Kaepernick on Thursday morning, on Wednesday, it was ABC’s Good Morning America that warned of a Super Bowl “backlash.” Co-host Michael Strahan highlighted how “critics are not happy” with Maroon 5 skipping the press conference. Correspondent T.J. Holmes piled on: “Right now, critics are all over Maroon 5 for seeming to want to avoid any Kaepernick questions....Critics say the band is dodging tough questions about headlining the halftime show amid controversy over the NFL’s handling of Colin Kaepernick and players’ rights to protest.”

 

 

The segment was just the latest example of ABC’s obsession with the story. Following the report, Strahan commented: “It never ends, right, this whole debate?”

It certainly never ends for the liberal media. Even after the public has clearly moved on, the press still try to convince viewers that there’s a cloud of controversy over the big game.

Here are excerpts of the January 31 coverage on NBC’s Today show:

7:34 AM ET

(...)

GABE GUTIERREZ: The NFL taking heat over canceling Maroon 5’s pre-game press conference, the band under fire for agreeing to perform the Super Bowl Halftime Show in the wake of protests sparked by former player Colin Kaepernick. The NFL says the artists will let their show do the taking.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Kaepernick Controversy Resurfaces; Goodell Addresses it After Halftime Show Presser Canceled]

ROGER GOODELL: We know that there are segments who are going to have different reactions to different things that go on in our league. But ultimately, I think people respect and admire the things we do.     

GUTIERREZ: As for Kaepernick, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2017, after his protest made headlines that even gained the attention of President Trump...

DONALD TRUMP [SEPTEMBER 22, 2017]: Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a [bleep] off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!”

GUTIERREZ: ...Goodell now downplaying the controversy, saying that if teams aren’t signing Kaepernick, it’s because they don’t think he’ll help them win.

GOODELL: I think if a team decides that Colin Kaepernick or any other player can help their team win, that’s what they’ll do. They want to win. They make those decisions individually, in the best interest of their club.

GUTIERREZ: That answer didn’t sit well with many Kaepernick fans on social media, who say Goodell dodged the question. Controversies erupting on multiple fronts as we head into Super Bowl weekend.

(...)

CRAIG MELVIN: Mark Geragos is Colin Kaepernick’s attorney. Mark, good morning to you.

MARK GERAGOS: Good morning.

MELVIN: Yesterday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Mark, as you probably know, said that this was a team decision. That if an NFL team thought that your client, Colin Kaepernick, were good enough, he would have been picked up by now. What’s your client’s response to that?

GERAFGOS: Well, I don’t know if it would be my client’s response, but I think the Commissioner was roasted appropriately on social media yesterday.

(...)

GERAGOS: I think the whole thing is basically a ruse. It was done – and the collusion actually was the NFL kowtowing to the President. I mean, it’s clear. I think the evidence will show that when we do the hearing. And it’s been admitted pretty much publicly by a number of the owners.

MELVIN: The owners haven’t admitted collusion publicly, to be clear though, Mark.

GERAGOS: They don’t admit to collusion because of what the consequence is. If they admit to collusion, the collective bargaining agreement, which is extremely onerous, that evaporates. And so, they can’t admit the collusion. But it’s with a wink and a nod. There isn’t anybody who’s got a couple of neurons firing that wouldn’t say this is collusive activity.

MELVIN: As you know, a number of the halftime acts have taken heat for performing at the Super Bowl this year, Maroon 5, Big Boy, Travis Scott among them. Does Collin Kaepernick see their participation during the halftime show as some sort of personal affront?

GERAGOS: I think what it says is, number one, they do take a lot of heat, and I think rightfully so. I mean, the idea that you’re going to basically cross a picket line – because that’s what they're doing, they’re crossing an intellectual picket line. They’re saying to themselves, “I care more about my career than I do about whether what I’m doing is right.” That’s taking the short money, so to speak. I don’t think that that’s a right thing.

I think when Travis Scott – when it was reported that Travis Scott had gotten Colin’s blessing, that was categorically untrue. And I think Travis tried to correct that. But there was no blessing of it. And I think Colin feels like, “Hey, wait a second here, I did what is right. I did what the First Amendment says you can do because I wanted to point to a fundamental systematic problem in America.” And then, two other artists, three other artists – all ironically managed by the same company – could cross the intellectual and ideological picket line, I think there’s something wrong with that and they should be called out.

MELVIN: Hey, Mark, this has been, by a lot of standards, a successful season for the NFL. Ratings are up. A number of young stars have emerged. The public protests have all but ended, save a few rare exceptions. Colin Kaepernick’s mission, has it failed in the NFL?

GERAGOS: No. I don’t think so at all. I think that part of what has happened is that people have moved on to other issues. I think he opened the door to a robust discussion. And I think there’s also an element of this, there’s been quite a bit of reporting, that basically the so-called divisiveness that this caused was actually ginned up or generated by a Russian disinformation effort. I think part of the reason that it is or it has become less of a hot-button issue is, number one, the Russian trolls have been sidelined, if you will, and number two, I think when Nike made the bold move to put him as the face of a campaign, it became apparent then this wasn’t as divisive as people said. People understand, in America, that protest is probably the most American thing you can do.

(...)

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