Joe Buck defends 'nonviolent protests' at NFL games
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Fox Sports announcer Joe Buck is weighing in on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem, calling them “nonviolent protests” by athletes who want to “change the dialogue.”

“These are nonviolent protests put on by guys who want to send a message and change the dialogue and address social inequality,” Buck said on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show on Tuesday. “Then they get up and they play the game. They’re not doing anything, you know, in a violent manner.”

President Trump has called out football players who take a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” saying they should be fired or suspended, and tweeting Tuesday that the NFL should “set a rule” to ban the practice.

When Stern asked whether Trump was “crazy to get involved” in the hot-button issue, Buck replied, “I agree with the way [New England Patriots owner] Bob Kraft put it, that it was the tone of how [Trump] said what he said.”

Kraft released a statement Sunday saying he was “deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments” from Trump.


Repeating a line he said his wife told him, Buck told Stern, “Unless you’ve walked in somebody’s shoes you can’t pass judgment. And it’s a simple rule.”

“I’ve always been very involved with police back in my home town of St. Louis,” the 48-year-old sportscaster continued.

“But I don’t know what it’s like to walk up and wonder what a police officer is thinking about me, like a [Seattle Seahawks defensive end] Michael Bennett would think or a Colin Kaepernick would think. And you know what? Colin Kaepernick — it’s basically cost him his career.”

Kaepernick, formerly with the San Francisco 49ers, started the movement last season to protest police misconduct and racial injustice.

Buck says he’s “proud” of his network and other outlets for choosing to air the protests.

“You could not even show it. You could time the breaks before the game — and typically we don’t show the anthem unless it’s a big event — but you could time it where you don’t even see any of that,” said Buck. “And if the timing is that way, we will go back and show that moment where a player or players were kneeling or sitting during 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' ”

Buck added of the protesting players, “I haven’t walked in their shoes so I’m willing to sit there, watch it, describe it and then go do the game.”