Brent Musburger may be retired but that doesn’t mean the 78-year-old can’t throw around some shade once in a while. On Sunday the former broadcaster took aim at the San Francisco 49ers and their national anthem protests in a tweet.
Here’s what he had to say:
It’s clear from that tweet that he either went heavy on the 49ers on Sunday, or he’s not a fan of anthem protests. Since its Musburger, either option is equally likely.
It’s worth noting this isn’t the first time Musburger has taken aim at a protest for equality from African American athletes. At the 1968 Summer Olympics, Musburger wrote a column for the Chicago American newspaper ripping TOmmie Smith and John Carlos for their Black Power salute during the 200-meter sprint medal ceremony. That act of defiance is still revered to this day as a symbol of peaceful protest in pursuit of equality.
Here is some of what Musburger wrote about the 1968 protest:
Tommie Smith and John Carlos must be labeled unimaginative blokes if they can’t come up with a stronger and more effective protest than the one they staged her last night during the Olympic medal ceremony honoring their accomplishments in the 200-meter run.
Smith and Carlos looked like a couple of black-skinned storm troopers, holding aloft their black-gloved hands during the playing of the National Anthem. They sprinkled their symbolism with black track shoes and black scarfs and black power medals. It’s destined to go down as the most unsubtle demonstration in the history of protest.
But you’ve got to give Smith and Carlos credit for one thing. They knew how to deliver whatever it was they were trying to deliver on international television, thus insuring maximum embarrassment for the country that is picking up the tab for their room and board here in Mexico City. One gets a little tired of having the United States run down by athletes who are enjoying themselves at the expense of their country.
Protesting and working constructively against racism in the United States is one thing, but airing one’s dirty clothing before the entire world during a fun and games tournament was no more than a juvenile gesture by a couple of athletes who should have known better.
If Smith and Carlos were convinced that the ends justified their black power demonstration during the National Anthem, they should have avoided the award ceremony altogether. If it’s true, as Hayes Jones says, that an athlete competes for himself but walks to the stand for his country, then a more courageous protest would have been for Smith and Carlos simply to stay away and not pick up their medals.
Musburger was clearly on the wrong side of history in 1968, we’ll see where he winds up this time.