CNN host Poppy Harlow grew incredulous on Monday morning when Trump-supporting panelist John Thomas claimed that NFL owners were only supporting black players’ rights to peacefully protest police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem because they were afraid of players “rioting.”
When asked by Harlow why there were no NFL owners who came out to publicly support Trump, Thomas said that many of them secretly do, but were scared off by threats of “riots” from their own players if they backed the president on this issue.
“I understand why the owners, I guess, would stand behind their team, because in a sense they don’t want riots from within their own ranks and were left with no choice on that issue,” he said.
Harlow seemed taken aback by this argument and grilled Thomas if he knew for a fact that NFL owners were not being sincere in their shows of solidarity with their players.
“Are you saying that you think that these coaches and these owners don’t actually believe what they’re saying but are trying to prevent a quote in your words, riot, within their own ranks?” she asked.
Thomas responded by doubling down on his position.
“To me, if I’m a businessman, I say I’ve got to keep my employees in line, I don’t want them rioting and will stand with them,” he said.
Watch the video below.