For more than seven minutes during his show Wednesday night, Seth Meyers tackled his powerful personal connection to football.
Reminiscing on the role it played in his relationship with his father — and the role it’s now playing in his relationship with his son — Meyers explained his “irrational” love of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and how that translates into respect for the protests that have overtaken the league.
“I love the Steelers so much that I love the players,” he explained. “I love players that I’ve never met, never spoken to. But I realized this week that because I love these players, it would be crazy for me not to want to hear what they wanted to express, the actual feelings they had as human beings. It would be crazy to just love them as players and not the humanity of them. So for me, when someone uses their platform to peacefully protest something important to them, I have a great deal of respect for that.” He went on to note that the current spate of protests, in which players take a knee during the national anthem, is powerful because of its visibility.
“The thing about protests is you do them at a time where the maximum amount of people pay attention to them,” he said. “And that’s why it is the right time to talk about something that’s important to you. You never hear someone say like, ‘We should protest!’ ‘Where?’ ‘Quietly in my parents’ basement!” he joked.
“NFL football didn’t get complicated on Sunday. It’s been complicated for a while,” he added. Watch his heartfelt response to the news unfolding on the field, above.