iHeart’s Jesse Kelly bemoans the US team's use of a rainbow crest in the World Cup: “I do not serve a nation of degeneracy”

The crest's use — along with the team's traditional crest — is in part due to horrific anti-LGBTQ laws in Qatar

Jesse Kelly melts down about U.S. Men's team using a rainbow crest in the World Cup

Audio file

Citation From the November 14, 2022, edition of iHeartRadio's / Premiere's The Jesse Kelly Show

JESSE KELLY (HOST): Let's talk about something bad for us because I have something good I want to get to, but I want to talk about the bad first. I brought this up briefly on Friday during our Ask Dr. Jesse Friday, which was quite fun, by the way. But during an Ask Dr. Jesse Friday, I brought this up because I'm hearing it more and more and more and more.

And sadly over the weekend, that has only increased. And this is what I'm hearing.

Well, I'll go to the headline first. The headline out of the Daily Mail today was this. USA to make a statement at the World Cup in – Christ I think you're supposed to call it Qatar, but I've always called it Qatar. And I think Qatar sounds more accurate. I think it's Qatar. Qatar or something. No, I think it's Qatar, whatever. I went to community college. I'm calling it whatever I want. It's my show.

USA to make a statement at the World Cup in Qatar by redesigning their crest. The crest, by the way, is the thing they wear on their chest. And, of course, it was all-American, right, all-American baby.

The new crest is the gay flag. All the rainbow colors, the LGBTQ stuff and – buddy of mine this morning actually – that we'd already been talking about this along the same theme this morning, but veteran buddy of mine this morning reached out and it was all by text and I didn't talk to him on the phone – it was all by text.

And he said to me – I can't read it verbatim because there was some adult language in his end. But it was to the effect of: Screw this country. I wish I'd never served. This is not what I fought for. Jesse. This is not what we fought for. I'm ashamed I ever fought for this. This is a despicable country that deserves whatever it gets. I'm paraphrasing only a little bit. That's basically what my buddy said.

And I want to make sure you understand something. If you ever saw him shirtless and I hope you don't, but if you ever saw him shirtless, you would see the biggest – it's actually really cool – all black and white, biggest American flag on his left pec you've ever seen. This human being lives and dies America, baby. America.

And I am – this is not a one-off. I am hearing this more and more and more and more and more. And look – I'm just going to be honest with you. It's just you and me. It's going to be honest with you. I feel it, too.

Not going to say that that's what I've decided. But every time I see something else like this – man. I feel it, too. And I don't know – I don't know how to work that out in my mind. I'll put it to you that way because I'm 41 and I've never had that thought in my life before.

But I think about this a lot now of man, this place, it's kind of awful.

What, Chris? Chris said, I didn't serve this America. I served the America back in 2001. And that's true. And that's what I've tried to talk my buddies down to. That's true. That's true.

But, we are sending – you realize we are sending – did you go to work today? If you went to work today, you made money. If you made money, a portion of that money went to the government. Government takes theirs first as you well know, the government – did you know the government took the money you worked for today. You got up, kissed your husband goodbye, kiss your wife goodbye, kids, goodbye, dropped them off at school and you went to work. And part of the money you went and went you ground for that money that you know, part of that money is going to other countries to fund transgender surgeries for children. How am I supposed to wrap my mind around what we've become?

How much better am I supposed to try to make people feel when that's the situation in America? What do you want me to say? I do not serve a nation of degeneracy. And I will not.

I find this stuff to be so over-the-top and despicable and it really, really is wrecking my patriotism quickly. I had a – actually my buddy Darrell Cooper. I don't want to put – I want to – I'm going to paraphrase him, too, but it's pretty close to it. He said, boy, it is a rude awakening when you spent so much of your life serving your country and you wake up one day and find that your country is actually the center of most of the evil and degeneracy on the planet.

And I'm going to move off this because that's ugly. And to be honest, I don't even know what to say, so I don't know what I'm feeling, but I'm just being honest with you. That's what I feel a lot now. I see this stuff and I'll tell you, look, you can be mad at me for this all you want. All I can do is be honest with you.

I will be actively rooting against Team USA. I'll pick another country that doesn't embrace this degeneracy at the World Cup and I will – shoot me and Chris and the fellows might just go out to the bar and I will actually have a jersey on of whatever country that is and I will have a beer and I will cheer against America because that's not who I am.

And if that's what America has become, then you can count me out. I am disgusted by what we've become. Sorry. That was heavy. Just being honest. There we go.

SBNation's Outsports reported how the U.S. team plans to use the rainbow crest in addition to a traditional crest in order to give a “big middle finger” to Qatar and FIFA:

The US Men’s National Team is giving a big middle finger to FIFA and Qatar by using a USA logo adorned with the LGBT Pride flag colors at the team’s training center in Ar-Rayyan, Qatar, ahead of the World Cup, Reuters has reported.

In case you hadn’t heard, it is illegal to be gay in Qatar. LGBT Qataris report being arrested and assaulted for being LGBT.

While the decision to use the rainbow logo was clearly at the highest levels of US Soccer — this kind of thing doesn’t happen without getting sign-off from the people in charge — it’s also getting public support from players and coaches with the team competing in the World Cup.


U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe told Reuters that the rainbow logo will be at every venue managed by the United States — “the team hotel, media areas and parties” — will have both the traditional red-white-blue logo, as well as the rainbow logo.