Phil Robertson and his son Jase discussed how the NFL protests and empty stands have made them uncomfortable watching football this season. The “Duck Dynasty” duo take a deep dive into player protests over racial injustice on the most recent episode of their “Unashamed” podcast.
Both of the Robertsons said this season has been particularly difficult to get engaged with the NFL. That feeling, they said, is driven mostly by players kneeling during the national anthem. This sentiment is shared by a lot of fans. The Duck Dynasty stars haven’t turned away completely, though. They still tune in each Sunday but do so with a greater sense of unease each week.
“I told Mrs. Kay I’m not enjoying these games like I used to,” Phil Robertson said. “… I just didn’t feel comfortable watching it.”
Jase Robertson said he’s tired of the media pointing out our differences. He feels the news is trying to drive a wedge between Americans at a time when we should be rallying together.
“We have to have something to bring us together,” he said. “If it’s all alienation then we’ll all just go our separate ways and be divided for the rest of our lives.”
‘Protesting the protesters’
Jase recalled an argument he got into recently over why he still watches football. He said he still enjoys the games but doesn’t understand why players would protest the flag or national anthem. In fact, he hopes they’ll stop playing the national anthem before the games if players won’t show their respect.
“No matter what’s happened in the past. We’re not in the present, and we’re going to sing the Star Spangled Banner, ” Jase said. “… And you know what we’re going to do? We’re going to join together and respect each other and the flag. I think the country would be better off if that happened.”
Jase pointed out that everyone he knew — regardless of race — was disgusted by the video of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of Floyd. But that doesn’t mean all officers are bad or that police don’t deserve our respect, he says.
“You’ve got bad cops who do bad things, but you also have great cops who have given their life,” he said. “They’ve gone into buildings and risk their life and died. They were going in there, and they didn’t care what color you were.”
Jase said he was “protesting the protesters” by skipping the first five minutes of any football game he watches.
Hollywood and ‘fake’ football
The majority of the podcast focused on players kneeling, but also at issue is how the NFL is handling the coronavirus pandemic. As precautions, most stadiums have remained empty of fans during the early weeks of the season. Some stadiums have let in fans but it’s been very limited.
But during broadcasts of games, networks pump in fake crowd noises to hide that fact. The NBA and Major League Baseball have done so as well. Phil Robertson said that “fakeness” unnerves him.
“They got false hollering,” he said. “… Somebody scores and they’re like ‘woo,’ but there’s nobody there. And I’m thinking ‘this thing is getting kind of fake.'”
Jase agreed, saying that the false nature of Hollywood has crept into sport.
They also took issue with sideline reporters bringing up the pandemic or the protests throughout the game. Saying that it’s a constant reminder of our divisions when fans are just looking for an escape.
“We just want to watch the game!” Jase yelled.