While ABC and NBC only produced a news brief about a protest in favor of Colin Kaepernick, CBS This Morning on Thursday devoted an entire segment to “taking a stand” for the football player, even hyping comparisons of him to Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali. Reporter Dana Jacobson spun the rally in New York, cheering, “Social justice advocates rallied to show their support for Colin Kaepernick.”
The segment featured no critical voices at all. Instead, Jacobson fawned, “The embattled quarterback was likened to civil rights heroes Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali.” She included footage of an unidentified protester praising, “We got to make sure the modern day Muhammad Ali, Colin Kaepernick, we surround and support him!”
The network graphic lauded, “Taking a stand.” CBSSports.com also promoted the protest and singled out liberal actress Susan Sarandon for joining in.
Over on ABC’s Good Morning America, the show only devoted 33 seconds to the subject. In that brief time, Amy Robach managed to at least hint at the other side, saying, “But critics say it's Kaepernick's performance on the field that's to blame for his lack of a job this season, not his protest.”
On NBC’s Today, Matt Lauer also offered a quick update (just 17 seconds). He related, “The free agent remains without a job after protesting during the national anthem.” Lauer included the clip comparing Kaepernick to Muhammad Ali.
[This CBS segment was sponsored by Dove soap, Volkswagen and Friskies cat food.]
A transcript of the CBS This Morning story is below:
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CBS This Morning
CBS GRAPHIC: Taking a Stand: Protesters: NFL Blackballing 49er for Anthem Protest
BILL WEIR: Pro football owners are under growing pressure to have Colin Kaepernick on their team. The veteran quarterback started a controversy last year by refusing to stand for the National Anthem before games. It was a protest against police br brutality, he said. More than 1000 people rallied outside NFL headquarters in New York City yesterday. They accused the league of blackballing Kaepernick for speaking out. Dana Jacobson shows us how civil rights leaders are rallying behind him. Good morning, Dana.
MAN: NFL? [Crowd chants “What the hell?”] NFL? [Crowd chants “What the hell?”] NFL? [Crowd chants “What the hell?”]
DANA JACOBSON: Social justice advocates rallied to show their support for Colin Kaepernick. The embattled quarterback was likened to civil rights heroes Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali.
MAN: We are not going to let history repeat itself. We got to make sure the modern day Muhammad Ali, Colin Kaepernick, we surround and support him!
WILLIAM C. RHODEN (The Undefeated writer at-large): It's so clear to I think everybody that he is being blackballed or blacklisted or banned.
JACOBSON: William Rhoden, writer at ESPN’s The Undefeated, thinks team owners are worried about a fan backlash if they sign Kaepernick.
RHODEN: NFL owners have decided out of the sense of fear that we are not going to allow this person to even compete for a job.
JACOBSON: Kaepernick nearly beat the Ravens in Super Bowl 47. But with his numbers on the decline last year, he had to fight to win back his starting job, even as he protested on the sidelines.
COLIN KAEPERNICK: We have a lot of people that aren't treated equally, aren't given equal opportunities.
JACOBSON: Kaeperinck’s gesture has spread throughout the league. On Monday, about a dozen Cleveland Browns took a knee, including a white player. Commissioner Roger Goodell has repeatedly denied the former 49er’s views are keeping him off NFL rosters.
ROGER GOODELL: Our clubs make independent evaluations of players. If they think a player can help improve the team they are going to do that.
JACOBSON: Rhoden sees hypocrisy since players accused of violent crimes remain in the NFL.
RHODEN: Somebody who makes a non-violent gesture, a non-violent gesture, just a gesture will probably not have a job.
JACOBSON: The NAACP sent a letter to the NFL requesting a meeting about Kaepernick's future. But last night, the league told CBS This Morning it had not yet received it. Kaepernick did not respond to our request for content, but was actively retweeting shows of support from yesterday’s rally. The players union says it continues to support him and stands ready to help in any way. Gayle?