ESPN Writer: U.S Flags at Olympics Symbolize the 'Rise of White Supremacy'
Bill Rhoden claims seeing American flag reminds him of Jan. 6 Capitol riots
An ESPN sportswriter has declared on live TV that seeing the American flag being waved at the Tokyo Olympics symbolizes the "rise of white supremacy."
Speaking during an appearance on CBS on Monday, Bill Rhoden said people waving Old Glory at the Games in Japan reminds him of the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
He said seeing the flag being waved in such a way causes him to ask himself "what America am I living in?"
"My favorite part of the Olympics was always going to the stadium for the opening ceremonies," Rhoden said.
"I love the opening ceremonies, the march of countries.
"Then I just realized, you know, man, particularly after these last four years, I had it wrong."
Rhoden referred to an article he wrote for the New York Times during the 2012 London Olympics, titled: "Opening Ceremony Brings Out the Good Side of Nationalism."
In the article, he argued about the benefits of Team USA displaying its pride at the global event.
Speaking with CBS, however, he said, "Nationalism is not good.
"We've seen the rise of white nationalism.
"Nationalism is not good.
"And also, this whole idea — I keep thinking back on the Capitol riots, and I saw a lot of, you know, US flags.
"So now when I see the flag and the flag raised, what — what America am I living in?"
Rhoden spoke of the American basketball team losing 83-76 to France on Sunday, halting its chance at winning the gold medal, and called it a humbling experience for the team.
He said: "I just think that these Olympics should be a time of soul searching and winning sometimes is antithetic to soul searching."
Twitter users were quick to respond to Rhoden's statements, with many outraged with his statements about the flag.
One user, named Ben Fiscus, said: "It was very disappointing to hear you say what you did about the flag.
"What happened at the capital was wrong and terrible but people need to quit blaming everything else on that day.
"Our country was in a lot better shape the last 4 years then the last 6 months!"
Twitter user Chuck Trout tweeted in response: "Everybody gets to have their opinion but I couldn’t disagree more.
"The folks that what is the capital are being prosecuted to the extent of the law and everybody agrees that was the wrong thing to do.
"But after a three hour debacle in our capital he now questions the flag WTH."
Jonathan T. Gilliam, a conservative author and host of The Experts Podcast, tweeted in response: "This is the most brain dead leftist rant I’ve heard in a while.
"@WCRhoden epitomizes the ideological communist left & the tactic of conflating all issues into one racist, antiAmerican rant.
"Combined with the clueless @CBSThisMorning hosts, the entire video reeks of useful idiots."
Meanwhile, speaking on CBS, Rhoden segued to his views on the Olympics continuing despite the recent surge in coronavirus cases.
He said, "I think the Tokyo Olympics and the NFL are sending the wrong message with 80,000 fans, they’re sending the message that this is over.
"That Covid is over. And it’s not over."
Asked if they should have canceled it, Rhoden said, "Of course they should have canceled the Olympics.
"Our highest value now is money.
"Everything is being driven by money so they’re telling fans, athletes, roll the dice because we are going forward."
Tokyo Olympic organizers announced on Monday that there were 16 new Covid cases linked to the games, including three athletes, bringing the total to 153 cases since July 1.
The games are being held mostly without spectators as the capital has seen a rise in daily cases in recent weeks, reaching 1,979 last Thursday, the highest since January.