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On "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Fox Sports 1 host Jason Whitlock said NFL players aren't speaking out against their fellow players' national anthem protests because they fear a backlash.

Colin Kaepernick started the controversial movement last NFL season when he refused to stand for the traditional pre-game national anthem to protest police violence and racial inequality in the U.S.

During the 2017 NFL preseason, other players like the Seattle Seahawks' Michael Bennett and the Oakland Raiders' Marshawn Lynch have had similar protests of their own.

"There are NFL players, black and white, who know that if you really want to address police brutality, social justice, inequality in this country, protesting the national anthem is the perfect way for your message to get completely lost," Whitlock said.

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He pointed out that NFL players have a huge platform and the ability to "legitimately voice" their complaints on any radio or television show or in any newspaper or magazine.

"You can't tell me that there aren't NFL players who recognize the stupidity of the style of protest Colin Kaepernick has chosen," Whitlock said. "But they're all afraid to say it because of the backlash."

He said that fear of a backlash is why NFL players have refused to speak up about the "idiocy" of the anthem protests.

"Sports have always been about bringing people together for a fun event. It's always been about racial unity and looking past your differences to achieve some athletic goal," Whitlock said. "Kaepernick has turned this thing into something else. I don't think it's effective for getting his message out. And I just don't think it's consistent with the principles of sports and what NFL football has been about as a television event."

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