Fox News hosts have repeatedly criticized black NFL players for kneeling in protest of inequality and police brutality during the national anthem, claiming the actions disrespect the flag.
But Fox & Friends hosts Jillian Mele, Brian Kilmeade and Ainsley Earhardt seemed to have no problem with a white MLB player wearing an American flag speedo — in fact, they called the player “patriotic.”
Mele was doing a segment on the Houston Astros moving onto the American League Championship Series after defeating the Boston Red Sox in a divisional playoff series, and showed locker room footage of the Astros celebrating by spraying champagne at each other.
“How else do you celebrate? And patriotic outfielder Josh Reddick donning an American flag Speedo. So, you know, good morning, hey,” Mele said.
The hosts laugh and discuss whether or not it really was champagne that was being sprayed. But never do they express any concern about what could be, by using the same logic regarding the NFL protesters, potential flag code violations as Reddick pranced around in an American flag speedo.
The flag code prohibits selling or displaying any “article of merchandise … upon which shall have been printed, painted, attached, or otherwise placed a representation of” the flag to “advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so placed.”
Fox & Friends itself has been less than favorable to the protesting NFL players, having sent a white journalist to ask white fans about how they feel about the protest without giving any context for why they are happening. The protests are framed as being against patriotism and the results were, well, about what you’d expect.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) September 25, 2017
This is par for the course when it comes to the network and the show, as Fox & Friends’ Pete Hesgeth demonstrated in one of his tirades against the protests.
“And you have to ask, what are we kneeling for at this point? Because you talk about social injustice. This is the least sexist, least racist, most free, most equal, most prosperous country in the history of humankind,” Hesgeth has said.