Jesse Jackson on anthem protests: ‘It never was about the flag… The issue was about racial disparities.’

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Jesse Jackson joins Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe to talk about the anthem protests in the NFL.

- How much impact do you think the protests have had so far?

- It has raised the consciousness about a lot of issues. For example, the rural ownership of the league does not reflect national IQ. This says a lot about the social strata. The song itself has great meaning to us. The national anthem was written by a slave owner, Francis Scott Key. And they never sing the third verse, no refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave. That's in-- that's in that same song.

It is never was about the flag. That is-- that's Mr. Trump's issue. The issue was about racial disparities, and the issue had to do with Rodney King beaten to death and the four police have been to walk free. Trayvon Martin killed, and the killer walked free. Diallo killed in New York. The police walk free. And so we knelt before the flag. He didn't desecrate the flag, he didn't try to burn the flag, he didn't put up a Confederate flag, which is an anti-American flag. My father had to sit by a Nazi prisoner on an American military base. He had to sit behind the Nazis on American military bases with the flag flying. The flag, and this is not about the flag. We honor the flag, but the flag must represent all of us and oftentimes, it does not.

- Colin Kaepernick took a stand. Not sure he realized he was risking his job, but it appears he has lost his job. What has he meant to you as sort of the face of this movement within the National Football League?

- In the same tradition that Muhammad Ali who when he changed his name from his religious position against the war, it took his title. They said you can have the title, but you can't have the championship because I won that. In this Curt Flood, you cannot-- you cannot sell me. All of the free agencies around the world owe their wages and their benefits to Curt Flood who paid the price of rebelling against the system of oppression. In many ways, it is oppressive.

They go from picking cotton balls to picking footballs and basketballs without freedom. It is not very much progress. It's just a lateral move. And what strikes me is that in football, the reason why some of the guys are standing when the president says fire them. And they're talking about sons of bitches. These boys are not sons of bitches. They're sons of mothers who have produced champions. They are not sons of bitches. They're sons of mothers who've produced champions. That's what they really are. And he comes back strong, and the president comes out strong. These guys have no guaranteed contracts. Unlike basketball or baseball, there are no guaranteed contracts. So you stand today, but you don't play tomorrow. That's workplace harassment. That's illegal.