Abby Huntsman‘s debut as the newest host of “The View” started with a bang this week after the former “Fox and Friends” host bumped heads with her new co-hosts over Colin Kaepernick‘s new endorsement deal with Nike.
On Tuesday, Huntsman was introduced as the newest addition to the talk show’s panel, replacing Sara Haines, who left for a newer gig on ABC’s “Good Morning America Day.” Huntsman is now the second conservative voice on the panel, although Meghan McCain, the show’s other known right-wing voice, was away at the time due to the death of her father, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin wasted no time jumping into the week’s hot topics, which included Nike’s announcement that Kaepernick would headline its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The news sparked outrage, seeing as many critics are still upset by the former NFL star’s decision to kneel during the national anthem.
Kaepernick, who says he’s been blackballed by the NFL, began the on-field demonstrations in 2016 as a way to protest racial injustice in America.
Goldberg, Behar and Hostin saw no issue with the company’s ads featuring the footballer, but Huntsman felt much differently.
“You have got 54 percent [of people] that aren’t in favor of players kneeling during the national anthem,” she said, citing a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. “But Nike’s taking a risk here. Ultimately, you are alienating a number of folks that would normally buy your brand.”
Hostin quickly pointed out that over 80 percent of Nike consumers are African-American and support Kaepernick, meaning they’ll likely continue supporting the brand and its new campaign.
“In fact, I’m gonna go out and buy some more Nikes!” Hostin said as the audience burst into applause.
The co-hosts continued weighing in on the issue, with Huntsman arguing that those who oppose Kaepernick and his protest are often deemed racist.
“You’re on one side of this issue or you’re on the other,” she said. “What I worry about when we talk about it is if you’re on the side of feeling it’s disrespectful to kneel during the anthem, that somehow you’re racist, or somehow you’re not in favor of bettering this country and finding equality and common ground.
“I think there’s a better way to talk about it as Americans to say, how can we make progress?,” she added.
Her co-hosts insisted they didn’t see her as racist for disagreeing. Before moving on, Goldberg concluded with an impassioned remark.
“Here’s the issue: the flag doesn’t cover everyone the same way,” she said. “There’s something to be said and I think what would help is if people stop saying ‘You’re disrespectful,’ and say, ‘I get it, I don’t know that this is the way I would do it, but I understand what you’re saying.’
“That will do this,” the comedienne said, lacing her fingers together.
Watch more in the video below.