Bill Maher takes a knee for the NFL

Late night talk show host Bill Maher on Friday took a knee to demonstrate his support of recent NFL protests.

“Before we start the show, let’s all take a knee, ladies and gentlemen,” Maher declared at the start of his HBO show "Real Time."

Maher's symbolic move echoed a display by multiple football players last week following President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE's criticism of players who kneel instead of stand during the national anthem at games.


“Donald Trump is now officially the drunk at the end of the bar, b----ing about football," Maher said in his monologue.

“And you know, this is the world that we live in now, the stupidest a--hole alive says something ignorant every three days, and we have to debate it. ‘Uh, this just in, the president has tweeted that dogs are gay and Chinese people spit in the laundry. Discuss, America.'”

During a panel discussion later in the program, Maher went on to defend the First Amendment, saying "liberals" need to respect it as much as they defend it.

Maher discussed a man who was wearing a red Nazi armband who was tracked down and physically attacked in Seattle last week when a photo of him wearing the symbol went viral.

“When people saw him there on the bus, it went around the internet and some Good Samaritan—according to some people—went out and punched him out, and it got a lot of raves by liberals," said Maher.

"And liberals should not be raving about this. We have a First Amendment. I don’t like Nazis either—I rooted against them on Hogan’s Heroes—but we have to go by principles and not feelings. That’s what the other side does. You can’t just punch Nazis," he argued.

“We don’t believe in the Supreme Court?” he asked. “The Supreme Court said [Nazis] could march in Skokie, and we just saw they were allowed to march in Charlottesville."

A white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va., turned violent in August.

"This is what the First Amendment says. Even if something is odious, this is America, you’re allowed to express it. If you throw the principle out the window and just say it’s how I feel, then you’re just as bad as them," Maher said.

Maher was embroiled in his own free speech controversy this past summer for using the n-word during an interview with Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseChamber of Commerce endorses McSally for reelection Ben Sasse is mistaken with idea for the election of senators in America Big Ten football to return in October MORE (R-Neb.)

He was forced to apologize the following week after using it on the program.

"I did a bad thing," Maher added. "For black folks, that word, I don't care who you are, has caused pain. It doesn't matter that it was not said in malice, it caused pain and that's why I apologized. I'm not that big of an a--hole."