Bill O'Reilly: Thankfully, most Americans have more sense than NFL protesters

Bill O'Reilly: Thankfully, most Americans have more sense than NFL protesters
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"Power to the people, right on!"  It's a distant memory but that cliche echoed throughout the country during the very divisive Vietnam War years.

And, indeed, those Americans against that war had a profound effect on it's outcome.  They forced President Lyndon Johnson from office and had his successor, Richard Nixon, constantly on the defensive until he signed a peace treaty he knew would not hold. Fifty years ago, the "people" began exercising their inherent power in a remarkable way.

Today, Americans are again demonstrating visible power. According to most polls, about 65 percent of adults believe NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem are misguided in their actions. At stadiums, boos reign down on the protesters and anger at the situation is loud and clear.

The National Football League knows the protests are trouble. So, this weekend, their partners, the TV networks, played down the controversy. In London, a few Miami Dolphin players knelt. They were not shown on camera.

In some other games, the Anthem was not broadcast at all, covered by commercials or in studio commentary.

It's all about money, of course. No industry wants the majority of customers angry with it.

The team owners themselves are caught in tight spots. They don't want politics on the field or in the locker room, but they are also loath to alienate dissenting star players.

So, the owners have devised various contortions to foster "unity." Some teams link arms during the anthem, others kneel before the singing begins then rise.

For team owners, this entire deal is bad for business and a huge distraction. When the word "boycott" surfaces, businesspeople cower.

My hunch is the protests will diminish quickly even though the far left media loves insulting the flag and country. On the leftist websites, the dissenting athletes are lauded as heroes, fighting the "oppression" that America embraces.

But many folks see this rank propaganda for what it is — an exaggeration of social ills in order to push a political agenda.

Are some folks "oppressed" in the USA? Of course, that is the situation in every country. No system is perfect.

But if you want to see true oppression, visit Cuba or China or Saudi Arabia.

Is there a design in America to keep minorities down? No, there is not. Vast improvements in "equality" have and continue to be made.

The leftists will tell you that the guy who started the protests, the anti-American quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has been blackballed by the NFL.

That may be true. But is this oppression? Would you hire an individual who wears socks depicting police officers as pigs?

Would you?

The vast majority of Americans are blessed with common sense. They do not believe their country promotes oppression and are proud of a history that freed slaves in a bloody war, freed billions from fascism and communism, and generally gives more people more opportunity to succeed than any other country on earth.

Protests that insult America are permissible under our banner of freedom. But so is a response that says you are wrong for denigrating your country.

Power to the people — right on!

Bill O'Reilly hosts a daily podcast on BillO' His new book is “Killing England," now available. He is also the former host of "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @billoreilly.