Fox News hosts Lawrence Jones and Dagen McDowell on Monday took time to disagree with President Donald Trump’s anger over the NFL expressing openness towards players kneeling during the national anthem, noting that Trump needs to realize this is a “different time.”
Late last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell openly apologized to players who have protested racial injustice, admitting the league was “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.” Goodell also said that the NFL believes that “Black Lives Matter” and that he would reach out to players who had publicly spoken out, likely referencing former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Trump, meanwhile, has rekindled his fight with the league over the matter—which has gained recent urgency over the large nationwide protests surrounding George Floyd’s death. The president, who had previously called for owners to fire players who kneeled, tweeted that there “are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag — NO KNEELING!”
Reacting to the president’s latest tweet questioning whether or not Goodell would say it is OK for players to kneel, Jones—serving as the lone male host on female-centric opinion show Outnumbered—called on Trump to understand that public opinion has changed.
“Look, do what you feel is right,” Jones said. “I will encourage the president that this is a different time right now. The amount of people who I’ve had reach out to me who are conservative that have a little bit of nuance now on this position.”
Noting that the president will be meeting with law enforcement soon, Jones urged Trump to also host community members who have an opposing view.
“I am not a kneeler but I understand the issue people are kneeling for,” he added. “The president hasn’t addressed that. Before you go on a tangent about the people that kneel, address the underlying problem.”
McDowell, meanwhile, said that she agreed with Jones’ thoughts while pointing out that people “feel the need to express just sorrow and mourning at this time.” She also noted that a black NASCAR official recently kneeled during the national anthem at an event.
“He had every right to do so,” she concluded.
“It’s not just the NFL. Get ready.”