The late-night TV hosts won’t stand for President Donald Trump blasting NFL players for their anthem protests.
With CBS’ Stephen Colbert leading the charge, the hosts mocked Trump on Monday evening with a series of barbs that — no matter which side of the argument you’re on — you knew were coming.
First, during prime time, Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity blasted players for their protests this past weekend in traditional commentary (“Just because something is legal doesn’t mean you ought to do it,” Carlson said). Then, the comics had their say, interspersing video of Trump’s comments from Alabama with their own shots.
Colbert played the tape of Trump calling protesting NFL players “sons of bitches.”
“That was unnecessary roughness,” Colbert said. “There should be a flag on that play. And I’m going to say, a confederate flag.”
After playing a tape of Trump saying his comments were unrelated to race, Colbert went for the jugular.
“Kneeling during the national anthem has everything to do with race,” Colbert said. “Just like your presidency.”
Over on Comedy Central, “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah pointed out that many NFL owners had supported Trump in the election. Noah said many of those owners criticized the president over the weekend and “you know it got to him.”
Noah added, “How can one person be on the wrong side of everything?”
Noah also mocked the notion this isn’t a racial issue.
“I don’t know if Trump is racist, but I do know he definitely prefers white people to black people,” Noah said.
On NBC, “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon posted an “Air Bud” parody featuring a golden retriever.
“Excuse me, Mr. President,” the caption read. “But I am literally a son of a b****. And there’s no rule against peaceful protests, just like there’s no rule against dogs playing basketball.”
Rather than kneel during the anthem, many NFL teams, including the Dolphins, chose to lock arms in a show of solidarity during the anthem.
“Trump tweeted that players standing with locked arms for the national anthem is OK,” Fallon said. “Incidentally, people standing with locked arms is also the plan for his border wall.”
After Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, Dolphins defensive back and social activist Michael Thomas wondered why the U.S. president would concern himself with football players protesting social injustice at a time when multiple world issues are confronting him.
“North Korea said today that since President Trump has declared war on the country, it has the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside their airspace border,” NBC’s Seth Meyers said. “ ‘Oh, no you don’t,’ said Trump — to a black athlete kneeling.”
Fallon listed a few football rule changes inspired by Trump.
“Someone has to get sacked every five minutes, just like at the White House,” Fallon said.
Colbert and Noah took issue with Trump mocking recent safety rules in football designed to reduce concussions.
“Forget being president,” Noah said. “What kind of human being wants more brain damage?”
While doing an impression of Trump, Colbert said, “There’s nothing wrong with brain damage. Look how far I got.”