The new voice of the Oakland Raiders and hall-of-fame broadcaster Brent Musburger recently joined Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger on Fox Sports Radio. The conversation began by discussing his first preseason game with the Raiders and quickly shifted to the issue of players protesting during the national anthem.
“The potential danger is the insult being delivered to customers,” said Musburger on The Mark and Rich Show. “This is a very very tricky situation for ownership. I’ve talk to several and they’re beside themselves because just when they think things are quieting down, President Trump will get on his ‘Twitter high horse’ and unload again, then of course the certain segment of the football population will respond accordingly and the two sides harden on their side of this particular issue, it’s a business issue and it’s a social justice issue.
Musburger continued in response to a question from Willard of why a player like Marshawn Lynch can sit on the bench during the anthem and remain on a team, yet Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid aren’t offered contracts. “I find that it’s very unfortunate the leadership of the NFL didn’t address Colin Kaepernick immediately and explain to him what issues were at stake here with business. I think a couple of thing would have happened, I think things would have quieted down quickly and to tell you the truth, I think Colin Kaepernick would still be playing someplace to this day.”
Musburger went on to say he would be surprised to see Kaepernick sign on with an NFL team at this point because of the stir it would create. The hall-of-fame broadcaster added he does not know Colin personally, but remains hopeful safety Eric Reid gets a contract offer.
“I was around him at LSU and he was very nice to deal with, (referring to Reid) I enjoyed talking to him as he got ready for the Tigers and I’m sorry that he’s caught up in this wash because I think he is good enough right now to play for some team.”
During the interview Musburger discussed his belief, in terms of players kneeling, that the original reason for protesting is no longer the focal point. The issue has shifted to the business side of needing to maintain everyone as customers.
If Musburger could advise the players on the protest, he would offer “You’ve got some real grievances in this country I have no issue about that, there will be no argument from anybody on that and we would like to clean up some of these things, but in your particular business I wouldn’t want to insult any of the customers like you’re doing because they take it the wrong way, they think it’s a slap in the face toward our flag and a lot of them have relatives who lost their lives.”
Putting blame on the league and owners for allowing the issue to drag on as long as it does, Musburger wished “there had been a resolution and we could get back to talking about the great game that football can be.”
Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger host weekdays on XTRA 1360 Fox Sports in San Diego. The full interview of Musburger on The Mark and Rich Show can be heard here.