Fox News is slamming a team of 8-year-old football players who protested racism and police brutality, accusing them of not knowing the words to the national anthem and calling for them to be punished.
Fox News has expanded its crusade in favor of racial bigotry, and is now singling out a youth football team composed of children 8 years old and younger for criticism.
Both on air and on its website, Fox News has highlighted the story of the Cahokia Quarterback Club from Illinois. The team knelt during the national anthem before a recent game.
According to their coach, the players spoke to him about people protesting in St. Louis over the recent decision to acquit former police officer Jason Stockley, who is white, after he shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith, who is black.
Coach Orlando Gooden told them the reason people are protesting is "because black people are getting killed and nobody's going to jail." The discussion then turned to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his decision to kneel during the anthem at games. The students then decided to emulate his protest.
The local Fox affiliate reported that "all the parents on the team supported the coach’s decision to take a knee," but that isn't good enough for Fox News.
The network, which has for decades opposed efforts to promote racial equity and justice, went on the attack.
On Donald Trump's favorite show, "Fox & Friends," co-anchor Brian Kilmeade issued a bitter and sarcastic "fantastic" in response to a tease about the children. Previously, Kilmeade accused NFL players of "creating chaos" by kneeling during the anthem.
EARHARDT: Coming up: First it was Colin Kaepernick, now 8-year-olds are kneeling during the national anthem.
"Fox & Friends" also highlighted tweets from conservatives upset about the protest, including one parent who said, "If my child did that at a game, that would have been his LAST game. I raised my 3 kids better."
Another comment singled out by Fox slammed the children for "stomping on the people who laid down their lives for us." Fox also used their platform to promote a tweet calling the protest "disgraceful," while calling for the coach to be fired.
Referring to a comment from the coach indicating his goals were to teach "love, honesty, fairness, and respect," Fox News anchor Carley Shimkus said, "That 'respect' part of his lesson, of course, is in question today."
SHIMKUS: A group of third-grade football players have decided to protest the national anthem. […]
Now this football coach is now saying that his "main goal is to teach kids love, honesty, fairness, and respect." That 'respect' part of his lesson, of course, is in question today.
On Fox Business, Dagen McDowell claimed, "None of those children know the lyrics to the national anthem," and complained that the coach should "teach them the national anthem, teach them the history of this country and all the people whose lives have been sacrificed to defend the very freedoms that let you take a knee."
Ignoring her own reporting from seconds before, anchor Maria Bartiromo alleged that the coach had not spoken to the kids about the issues at hand and simply told them it was OK to take a knee. She later added that refusal to stand for the anthem should be punished with "25 push-ups."
MCDOWELL: I guarantee you none of those children know the lyrics to the national anthem. So why don't you teach them the national anthem? And teach them about the history of this country and all the people whose lives have been sacrificed to defend the very freedoms that let you take a knee. […]
BARTIROMO: And instead of the coach explaining it, he's like, "Yeah, OK, take a knee, yeah." […]
KELLY: I coach my son's 10-year-old football team, and if somebody were to take a knee during the national anthem, we'd be doing up-downs for the rest of the –
BARTIROMO: Twenty-five push-ups!
Fox's seemingly coordinated attacks on these children comes after the network slammed an alliance of black and white NFL players who prayed for justice before a game, and is part of a campaign to stigmatize the protests at sporting events.
If that means attacking a team of children who are in third grade at best, Fox is quite happy to do so.