If you were fed up with the National Football League and Colin Kaepernick over the anthem kneeling controversy, you may not actually exist, at least according to Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
Kaepernick, as you probably know, is the ex-quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers whose mediocre play led to his being benched and eventually released by the team.
But he’s now more famous for injecting racial politics into football by refusing to stand for the national anthem, prompting some patriotic Americans to turn off their televisions in disgust.
In the strange fantasy land of California, Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris doesn’t think that Americans were frustrated by Kaep’s antics. Her take? The Russians invented the whole thing.
During an interview with the radio show “The Breakfast Club,” Harris, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination, floated a bizarre theory about the kneeling controversy. She seemed to dismiss any genuine outrage over the NFL’s season of kneeling, instead declaring that mysterious “Russian bots” were the ones who perpetuated the controversy.
“Many smart people have said it actually was not a thing,” Harris said, without explaining which people she was talking about. “The Russian bots started taking that on.”
The candidate offered no evidence for her strange statement. But even a brief glimpse at the facts reveals that she’s full of hot air.
Even left-leaning outlets like CNN admitted that the NFL’s ratings took a hit during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, right when the kneeling issue was a hot topic and many viewers were changing the channel.
“The NFL’s declining viewership was a point of contention in both media and political circles for the past few seasons,” CNN reported in January. “President Trump and his supporters pointed to players kneeling in protest over police brutality and social injustice during the National Anthem as the cause of the downturn.”
Famous figures including NFL legend Jim Brown weighed in on the kneeling kerfuffle.
“I’ll never kneel and I will always respect the flag,” the Hall of Fame running back said during the controversy. “I am not going to denigrate my flag and I’m going to stand for the national anthem.”
Maybe Harris thinks he’s a “Russian bot” too. It would at least explain why he was so fast on the field.
Of course, it’s not the first time that liberals have tried to wave away a movement they don’t like. They famous pinned President Trump’s upset victory in 2016 on Russian meddling. The theory was a particular favorite of losing candidate Hillary Clinton.
And Harris herself has recently claimed that Russia was trying to influence her campaign, playing the Russia card as an excuse for why she’s not further ahead in the polls.
But while there is some evidence that Russian intelligence agencies did meddle in the 2016 election, the interference seemed to be bipartisan. It has never been conclusively shown that “Russian bots” on social media had any tangible impact on election results.
From refusing to accept the results of the presidential election to pretending that no one actually had a problem with NFL kneeling protests, the Democratic “blame the Russians” tactic has one consistent theme: denial.
Instead of simply acknowledging that Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate who didn’t energize people, the left would rather believe a fairy tale that lets them sleep at night. Rather than admit that the audience for professional football might not appreciate Kaepernick’s antics, Harris invented a theory out of thin air.
It’s denial, plain and simple. But repeating something doesn’t make it true. And there’s a good chance that the latest hand-waving will only hurt the senator when it comes time to appeal to heartland American voters in 2020.
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