“The flag is a piece of cloth and nobody fights for a piece of cloth.”
After engaging in character assassination against Green Bay Packers fans who chose not to protest during Thursday’s National Anthem, FS1’s Undisputed co-host Shannon Sharpe did the same with the American flag, declaring it to be merely a racist “piece of cloth” that “nobody fights for.”
“The flag, you see, to a lot of people, symbols, patriotism but what does that symbol actually mean? What does — what does – okay — you keep telling me that the flag means so much and it’s opportunity and freedom and liberty. Okay. Can you honestly say that everybody in America has freedom and liberties and opportunity,” Sharpe wondered to co-host Skip Bayless.
Bayless replied “no,” so Sharpe then noted that inequalities should be address. Fair enough.
But Sharpe went further by showing his disdain for this country, the flag, and Francis Scott Key’s Star-Spangled Banner (depicting the scene in Baltimore during the War of 1812) [emphasis mine]:
And stop trying to sweep it under the rug. But, see, as long as you paint that narrative, oh, it’s the Anthem, I can’t — no — anybody that does something to the Anthem — well, we know what the anthem was originally written for and who it was written by, okay? The flag, okay? We understand what the flag? What does it represent? When did this narrative come to be that the military and the police own the flag and only them? I can go buy a flag and I can hang it up in my backyard. We need to stop this, Skip. We need to — the flag is a piece of cloth and nobody fights for a piece of cloth.
Bayless, who was almost universally in step with Sharpe on the protest issue, broke away by telling him that he shouldn’t “say that” because “[t]hat’s the symbol of this country” and “what it represents.”
Sharpe then dropped a befuddling red herring, repeatedly wondering if we all should then “fight for a pair of jeans.” Bayless replied that the flag itself dates back to our country’s founding in 1776 and everything that’s come since.