Football debate goes off the rails when Laura Ingraham guest starts bashing her and Fox News

Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s attempt on Wednesday to have a discussion with a guy who thinks football is violent and racist quickly went by the wayside when he decided to talk trash first about Fox News, and then about her.

The guy, Steve Almond, is the author of “Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto.”

At one point during the discussion on “The Ingraham Angle,” Ingraham threw aside all pretenses and asked point-blank what the guy wanted.

“What do you want? Because I’ve seen stampedes at soccer games. I’ve seen major fights at hockey games. I’ve even seen fights at cricket competitions. So what do you exactly want? I’m not getting it,” she said.

That’s when the fireworks started popping.

Listen from the 4:34 mark below:

“Well, I think the NFL could, if they were forced to, if there was an economic incentive, could make the game much safer overnight with things like weight limits so that players aren’t bulking themselves up to 320 pounds, unnatural weights. Putting monitors in helmets to try to make sure that people aren’t suffering too many concussive or sub-concussive events,” Almond replied.

“These are things the NFL could do tomorrow. But they’re not going to do it until there’s an economic incentive. The reason they settled that lawsuit is because they had a PR problem. It’s like at Fox News when you have hosts who are allegedly sexually harassing people. Fox News throws money at that to make that PR problem go away,” he then added.

It’s believed he was referencing a settlement in which the NFL had agreed to pay $765 million to a group of former players who’d suffered concussion-related brain injuries while playing the game.

Ingraham wasn’t too impressed with his initial bout of trash-talking.

“That’s a cute little move. But I’m trying to get you to answer a question,” she said before moving on to her next question.

“Your point is that football should become more safe. I don’t think anyone really disagrees with that. But you come at it by saying fans are, in effect, perpetuating a culture of violence and racism. How the heck does that work? You say you’re a football fan. Do you see a lot of racism in the stands? I see a lot of happy people. A lot of happy people,” Ingraham asked.

Almond responded by repeating his earlier point near-verbatim.

“I’m trying to emphasize that the NFL has the ability to make substantial changes to the game that would make it safer. But they’re not going to do that until there’s an economic incentive. You’re obviously a brilliant, well-read person. You know people in large corporations, powerful people only change their behavior with an incentive,” he said.

Ingraham retorted by bringing up the players’ union and the “enormous amount of bargaining power” they possess, prompting Almond to respond with more trash-talking.

“I know you’re focused on the players. I’m focused on the fans, and what I essentially believe is not that any government ban is going to make football safer and certainly not some mythic woke mob that you mentioned to try to scare your viewers,” he said.

“I’m not trying to scare the viewers. Football is not about politics. You’re making it about politics,” Ingraham replied.

Tripling down on his trash-talking, Almond then said, “Oh, I think that your entire economic model, your entire economic model is to scare viewers. That’s your whole gig,” Almond responded.

(He must have Fox News confused with MSNBC.)

Fed up with Almond’s non-answers and his trash-talking, Ingraham then threw aside all pretenses again and accused him of wanting to ban football outright.

“You really want football to be banned. You want football to be banned,” she said.

“No, I don’t. This is what you do,” Almond replied.

“You want football changed into I don’t know what — like have a sensor in the helmet, I guess, okay. Propose one,” Ingraham continued.

“Is that technology troubling to you?” Almond asked.

“No, not in the slightest,” Ingraham said.

“If you’re concerned about the players, why wouldn’t you want them to play in a way that’s safer. You’re not concerned about the players. You don’t care about them at all,” Almond said.

“There’s ways to make baseball safer, lacrosse safer. I played three sports. I know a lot about safety in sports. I think everyone can celebrate that. But underneath it all, you seem to have a belief that football has a history based in racism and a celebration of the fans of violence. And what I’m saying to you is, I think — I don’t know what kind of fan base you’re going to, they don’t celebrate violence. They’re there to enjoy the game,” Ingraham said.

“I don’t think the fans celebrate violence. I agree with you, Laura. I don’t think the fans are celebrating the violence. I think they tolerate the violence, and they see when somebody like Damar Hamlin is almost killed in front of them. Or I remember watching Darryl Stingley get paralyzed as an 11-year-old. And I didn’t stop watching football,” Almond replied.

“And lots of fans don’t because they enjoy it so much because it’s so thrilling. The reason that people change their behavior is because there’s an economic incentive. A couple of years ago when you talked to a survivor of a Parkland mass shooting, you apologized  only because advertisers withdrew from your show,” he added.

See what he did there?

Absolutely done with this guy, Ingraham then cut him off, saying, “Nice try, buddy. This is what they always do.”

Vivek Saxena


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