Former Olympian and retired Dallas Cowboys running back Herschel Walker told “Hannity” on Monday that U.S. athletes protesting their own nation on the world stage are doing so at the “wrong place at the wrong time.”
Walker, who competed in Bobsled at the 1992 Albertville Games in France, said public opinion of professional sports, on the whole, will continue to suffer until politics are removed again.
“[B]ecause we are the greatest country in the world, and we do have the right to protest, but I think it’s the wrong place and wrong time, as a people we have to decide to elect the right people in the office because if you get the right people into office and hold people accountable, we wouldn’t have these problems,” he said.
“If you read the Constitution, it talks about everything we want to fight about today — and right now, we have leaders that won’t hold people accountable so I think that’s the problem we are having.”
Walker said the athletes protesting their own country are missing exactly what helped them get to the Olympics: the fact America is a nation built on self-determination, and that no matter a person’s beginnings they have the opportunity to reach the top of their chosen field.
“But this is the wrong place and the wrong time to [protest] because you are representing the United States of America.”
Walker said his sentiments extend also to his former professional sport, football, where the NFL announced they will play “Lift Every Voice & Sing,” which is often called the Black National Anthem, before games this fall.
Walker, who is Black, called the change a “bad idea” that “opens a can of worms.”
“We’ve got to represent the United States of America and if you don’t like this country, this country is so great that you don’t have to stay here,” he said.
Walker said that the athletes who protested racial injustice decades ago like U.S. Olympian John Carlos at Mexico City in 1968 were doing so because they did not yet have the rights that they have today. At the time, part of the United States was still segregated.
“[R]emember at that time, there were separate bathrooms. A lot of African-Americans couldn’t go into a restaurant and eat. They did protest and at this point and now we are at this point here, we have an opportunity to be treated fairly but they are not upholding that and holding people responsible for what they are doing.”
Host Sean Hannity also asked Walker about rumors he is considering a U.S. Senate run in 2022 against liberal Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia.
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Walker, 59, who grew up in Wrightsville, said he has not decided whether to run, and if he does it will be “on my timetable.”
“Georgia has always been on my mind, that’s what people don’t realize,” he said, keying into Ray Charles’ famous lyric in rebuffing critics who point to his Texas ties. “And if they go back and look at anything I’ve ever said, I said I am a product of the state of Georgia.”