NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas suggested Saturday that protesting NFL players should wait until “the last note” of the national anthem to take a knee.
Costas’s comments came a week after NFL players locked arms to protest President Donald Trump’s criticisms of those who kneel during the National Anthem.
But the veteran sports journalist told CNN’s Michael Smerconish that he believed a different approach could be more effective.
“The idea of linking protests, no matter how legitimate the issue you are protesting, directly to the National Anthem is not just offensive to the love-it-or-leave-it crowd. It actually causes ambivalent feelings, at best, among many people who are sympathetic to the issue but see the anthem as representing a lot of different things, including the country’s ideals and aspirations,” Costas said.
“To me, perhaps the most effective thing to do would be to stand for the national anthem, but, the second the last note is struck, take a knee,” he suggested.
This tactic would also, purely from a practical perspective, ensure greater exposure, Costas argued.
“Most of the time, unless it’s the Super Bowl or World Series and you want to see the singer, they’re in commercial during the anthem. Now, you’re going to see it,” he said.
Costas did concede, however, that his suggestions came from a place of privilege.
“This is a humble suggestion on my part, because who am I, a very fortunate white man, to tell primarily African-American citizens what they should do?” he said