Paul Finebaum hosts a show on ESPN Radio and is generally one of college football media's most prominent faces. This past Monday, he used his large platform to say that Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest is wrong because "This country is not oppressing black people."
Finebaum made his aforementioned contribution in a conversation with former NFL player Marcus Spears.
Ignoring mountains of evidence—disproportional representation in prisons, unarmed people killed by police, housing discrimination, vast gaps in funding for education—he instead blasted Kaepernick for having the audacity to argue otherwise.
"The genesis of this flag goes back to the War of 1812, and I just really don't understand—again, not to look at the country back then—but, the two just—this country has issues, but this country is not oppressing black people," Finebaum rambled.
Later, he argued, "This is not a genuinely respected guy, like LeBron James, or Dwyane Wade, or Tiger Woods. This is a backup quarterback, and without this, most of us would've forgotten his name by now."
"Usually people protest when they’ve been oppressed, when they have a legitimate stake in the action," Finebaum argued. "I don’t know where Colin is coming from. What’s his beef with society, other than he’s upset with how, in his mind, people are being oppressed in this country?"
Let's break that down. "What's his beef with society, other than he's upset with how, in his mind, people are being oppressed in this country?" I wonder what type of person wouldn't have a beef with a country that actively oppresses people. Oh, wait, yes, I do.
Social media had some thoughts for Finebaum on Thursday morning:
Paul Finebaum is an idiot.
Paul Finebaum has apologized. "I could spend the rest of my life trying to talk my way out of it, but I can't. I blew it," he said in an extended speech on SportsCenter Thursday afternoon.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.