After newly-hired New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo said at his introductory press conference Wednesday that if you “don’t see color, you can’t see racism,” Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro is wondering if Mayo will bring on a former NFL quarterback whose decision to kneel during the national anthem angered many on the right.
The co-hosts of The Five took up Mayo’s comments Thursday, with Jesse Watters agreeing with the former Patriots linebacker—but with his own addition that “if all you see is color, then all you are going to see is racism.”
Watters added of Mayo, who is Black: “I don’t think this coach is like ‘Coach Kaepernick.’” Team owner Robert Kraft, Watters said, “would never do that.”
At the beginning of the 2016 NFL season, then-San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick sat on the bench during the national anthem, saying afterward, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.” In later games, he took a knee on the sidelines.Several players and coaches on his own team and others would go on to do the same.
Donald Trump, of course, wasn’t a fan, and so it became a rallying cry for some of his supporters on Fox News airwaves. Likewise for Kaepernick being the face of a Nike ad campaign years later, with then-host Tucker Carlson hyperventilating that it was “an attack on the country.”
Pirro eventually circled back to the 36-year-old Kaepernick, who opted out of his contract at the end of the 2016 season and hasn’t played another NFL game since, but did work out for the Las Vegas Raiders after the 2021-22 season.
Telling co-host Dana Perino of the Patriots’ quarterback needs, she then asked, “Does Mayo go to Colin Kaepernick?”
Perino joked that Tom Brady will un-retire once more, adding that she doesn’t “know anything about quarterbacks.”
“But I will say that the media, and even the sports media, likes it when they talk about racism because it gets clicks,” she said. “And so all of these coaches have to know this is coming and you are going to get this question, so be prepared and get media trained and figure out what you want to say.”
“The NFL has finally crawled itself back from the Kaepernick stuff, so it’s crushing it right now,” she continued. “The ratings are very good. Remember how bad it was a few years ago? They don’t want any part of this either.”