Corey Stewart held a press conference on Wednesday in front of the National Football League (NFL) Players Association’s office in Washington, DC. In the wake of the ongoing on-field protests by players and staff during the national anthem, he called on the United States Senate to repeal the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961, which protects the NFL from anti-trust regulations.
“We’ve always stood behind them,” Stewart said “They no longer stand behind us, so perhaps it’s time to think again about that act.”
Calling the law a “sweetheart deal” that not only protects the NFL from federal laws, but advances the league’s lucrative operations, Stewart said Congress should take action.
“I call upon the United States Senate, Mitch McConnell in particular, to introduce legislation to repeal the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 to create competition —real business competition, real sporting competition between teams — and to cease price fixing in the NFL,” Stewart said.
“And then, at last, Americans can choose the team who they believe supports them,” Stewart said.
Stewart, who is serving his fourth term as at-large chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Prince William County, Virginia, narrowly missed winning the GOP gubernatorial nomination and plans to challenge Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) in 2018, began his press conference by reading a list of U.S. Marine troops who died recently in Afghanistan.
“These are real American heroes,” Stewart said. “They are why we stand for the national anthem.”
“They are why we respect the flag of the United States of America,” Stewart said, adding that the NFL players are not heroes.
“They are overpaid, arrogant, disrepectful, ungrateful, unpatriotic,” Stewart said.
Stewart said the players have every right to protest anything they want “on their own time.”
“When they’re on the field, they’re being paid not just by the owners, but they’re essentially being paid by all of us as fans,” Stewart said. “We didn’t pay for them to pay disrespect to the flag … [to] the country itself.”