Back when Jim Gearhart used to play football with his friends, most of them couldn't have told you a thing about politics.

"I'm not sure, looking back, they could tell you who the president was," he says in latest installment of the Jim Gearhart Show podcast, available here as well on iTunes and Google Play.

But now it seems the current crop of players — taking knees, locking arms and speaking out to anyone who'll listen — all fancy themselves high-level political pundits.

Jim doesn't think the difficulty Colin Kaepernick has had getting picked up has anything to do with racism or white superiority or micro-aggression, "whatever that is." It's simple economics, Jim says — NFL teams don't want to anger fans outraged by the movement Kaepernick started.

But Jim admits — he's always been perplexed by the tradition, nice as it is, of having the national anthem played at sporing events, when
"all we're doing is fidgeting around and saying, 'I want to see the ballgame. I want to see someone get hit.'"

After all, these guys on the field aren't there to do battle on behalf of their country. They're not there to do us proud as Americans.

"I can't see the Green Bay Packer offensive line raising the flag on Iwo Jima," Jim says.

And if war did break out?

"My guess is that should a war break out, many of them, en masse, would transfer to the Canadian Football League," Jim says.

But if we're going to play the anthem, Jim says, there's one dignified way to respond:

"If you can't bring yourself to respect this country and its symbols, then respect people who do have such respect and love."

That's it's just part of what Jim takes on in the latest installment of his podcast. Check out the full episode below to hear the rest. Email Jim at Jim@NJ1015.com.

The Jim Gearhart Podcast is available every week on New Jersey 101.5 and in the New Jersey 101.5 app. You can also subscribe with your favorite podcasting app for iPhones, Android devices or your computer:

Love podcasts?

Be sure to check out "Heroin Uncut: The Truth About the Crisis," a blunt, honest look at how we got so deep into an addiction epidemic. This week, we hear from an addict about the moment he came back from the brink.

Also check out Forever 39, Annette and Megan's new podcast about turning 40 — and loving life along the way. This week, they wonder: How do you fall back in love with your job?

Also: The New 'Jersey' Guys, Chris and Dan, tell us there are no winners in Trump's fight with the NFL. In Speaking Millennial, Bill, Jay and Jessica explore some of the dangers young people face on campuses

— Townsquare Media staff

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