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Israel and United Arab Emirates Strikes Historic Peace Deal; Will Other Arab States Establish Ties with Israel?; South Carolina Senate Race Between Senator Graham and Jaime Harrison; Jaime Harrison, U.S. Democratic Senate Candidate, is Interviewed About Senate Race in South Carolina; Interview With Jacob Collier; Sports and COVID-19. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired August 13, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
Taking on one of President Trump's closest allies. For the first time in 17 years, could a Democrat beat Senator Lindsey Graham in South Carolina?
Jaime Harrison tells us why he thinking he will.
COVID-19 throws American college football out of bounds. What it means for the NFL and what it says about America.
And finally, they call him the new jazz messiah. With me, Jacob Collier, YouTube prodigy who's already wowed Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones. And we
get a special performance live on the program.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
After years of security cooperation, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have struck a historic peace deal. The move was announced in a joint
statement with President Trump, who said that it would bring together two of America's strongest allies in the region.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: This is a truly historic moment. Not since the Israel/Jordan Peace Treaty was signed more than 25 years ago has so
much progress been made toward peace in the Middle East. By united two of America's closest and most capable partners in the region, something which
said could not be done, this deal is a significant step towards building a more peaceful, secure and prosperous Middle East.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, as part of this deal, Israel says that it won't -- that it will suspend its plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank,
which is also what the U.S. wants for now. Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, shared these images of himself on the phone to the UAE crown
prince, Mohammed bin Zayed. He also thanked President Trump, "from the bottom of his heart."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I want to thank President Trump for his critical help in brokering this historic accord, and I want
to thank him for his revolutionary vision for peace, which is the most realistic and important formula for peace in the region. President Trump's
Middle East plan served as a basis for today's historic peace announcement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: There was criticism from the usual quarters, of course, an Iranian news agency tied that Revolutionary Guards calling it shameful, but
it does raise major questions. Will other Arab states follow in establishing ties with Israel? And have the Palestinians lost out?
The former Israeli prime minister, Tzipi Livni, joins us from Tel Aviv.
Tzipi Livni, welcome back to the program.
TZIPI LIVNI, FORMER ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: You know, the last time we spoke, your prime minister was on the verge of annexing the West Bank. And you said that this would be a disaster
for Israel, and you were hoping that the U.S. would persuade him not to. Can you tell me how this all fits in now, this jigsaw puzzle?
LIVNI: Yes. My feeling today is that we are having too good news in one toking. I mean, on one hand, Netanyahu decided or agreed to suspend the
annexation, and I believe this is good news, because there is hope for peace with the Palestinians. And yet, we are having peace and normalization
with the Emirates. And for many years, you know, discrete relations with them as a state, and also personally as a foreign minister and now to have
this public, I believe that this sends a very good news to the region. And I do hope that this can open a new door for negotiations with the
Palestinians, because as an Israeli, I believe peace with the Palestinians is important for Israel as well.
AMANPOUR: I'm going to get to that in a second. But you mentioned that you've had discreet relations with the UAE when you were foreign minister.
I mean, that goes back a long time, more 10 ten years now. You were foreign minister between 2006 and 2009.
AMANPOUR: But I also understand that you were one of the last major Israelis. I mean, nine months ago you met with the foreign minister of the
UAE. How long has this been going on? And was it a deal that was crafted between the two parties or did the United States craft this deal?
LIVNI: Well, for many years we had understanding that Israel is not the enemy anymore, but -- and Iran is basically the common threat, but they had
their glass ceiling in the relations with Israel and this was the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. And therefore, the relations between Israel
and also, as you mentioned, personally as a foreign minister not only with them, but with different guard stem was discreet meetings. Just -- I was
foreign minister since 2006. So, we are talking about many years ago, but also in just a few months ago, I visited -- well, not in office, not an
official visit, but I visited Abu Dhabi with their invitation, a few -- just a year ago, I visited Manama, Bahrain.
So, we could see some signals that we have better relations and maybe it will be more public and we can reach normalization. And I think that what
Mohammed bin Zayed (ph) was -- he showed leadership, it was a -- he showed courage, and also it was very smart thing to do, because instead of
annexation, we are turning into peace.
And I want to say that even though, you know, I heard some disputes also about Trump plan, I want to congratulate everybody today for making these
steps, and I want to call the Palestinians also not to shut the door again.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, you've raised a huge number of issues. First of all, you said you visited Bahrain. Do you believe there will be more Arab states
joining in this process? I understand that your prime minister has visited Oman. I understand that, you know, that might be --
AMANPOUR: Is that correct? Can you confirm that?
LIVNI: I don't know. I don't know which state is coming next, but it is true that the Prime Minister Netanyahu visited Oman. I also met the foreign
minister of Oman a few times also in public. And to my surprise, my last visit to Bahrain was also public. And even though I'm not in office, you
know, I'm an Israeli visiting there.
So, as I said, maybe this is the beginning of something that is bigger than just one state, but I really highly appreciate this step. And as an
Israeli, it's important for us, but as an Israeli who believes in peace with the entire region, but also with the Palestinians, I hope that
postponing the annexation can lead hopefully to another round of negotiation with the Palestinians. And --
AMANPOUR: OK. So, Tzipi Livni, a big elephant in the room -- yes, I know that that's your position. You believe in hope -- rather you hope for peace
and you always have done. And you believe in dialogue with the Palestinian authority.
AMANPOUR: But as you very well know, the Arab League's former position was that there would never be such normalization with Israel until there was
also normalization and a full peace with the Palestinians. So, are the Arabs saying that they've had enough? That they're just -- these -- the
Palestinians are on their own now?
LIVNI: You know, it is clear that since 2002 the Arab League position is that normalization comes just after peace between Israel and the
Palestinians and Syria. And as an Israeli, I hope to see peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but I think that what the Emirates did today
is saying, OK, instead of annexation, we are willing to take a huge step towards Israel.
I know that the Palestinians, while they are not happy with the situation, in a way, there is a change in the linkage between the relations between
Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world, but I think that in a way what Emirates did is minimizing the damage of annexation, because
the day after annexation as I've told you also --
AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you -- yes.
LIVNI: -- in our --
AMANPOUR: Yes. Yes. You told me it would be a disaster for Israel.
LIVNI: -- is end of -- yes. And now, it was postponed.
LIVNI: I hope that it would not come back in another door or in a back door or in the future. Let's hope so. But for now, for today this is good
news, postponing the annexation, having normalization with the United Arab Emirates, good news.
AMANPOUR: Well, absolutely. But of course, you know that there are many people who just simply don't believe that this is going to end annexation,
and your own former colleague, foreign minister of Jordan, Marwan Muasher, who, as we all know, Israel and Jordan were the last to secure a peace in
your region, and that was in '94.
Marwan Muasher, one of his initial reaction is, I'm not sure Israel is going to stop the de facto annexation. It looks like a ploy to justify the
establishment of relations. I don't think Israel or the United States has changed their mind about annexation, only the timing. What's your reaction
LIVNI: There is -- well, it's not a secret that in Israel you have to two different camps. You have on the right wing, on Israel there are those
saying, OK, what is the meaning? The meaning is that we can have normalization with the Arab world. We doubt peace with the Palestinians.
And what I'm trying to say is that, but you cannot have both. You cannot have annexation and peace with the Arab world.
Now, I'm sure that annexation, or not having annexation, it's not peace yet. But there is internal dispute in Israel, either present those
believing that annexation is wrong and having peace with the Palestinians based on two states where two people sees an (ph) Israeli interest. This is
an internal discussion in Israel. I don't know what the outcome will be. But for now, you know, not having -- or postponing annexation, for today
it's enough. Let's see what lies in the future.
And maybe, maybe, maybe also Israelis would understand that we cannot have both, and when we have hopes for a strategic change of the situation of
Israel in the region and having peace with the Palestinians would be part of it, maybe more Israelis would be open to the concessions that are part
of any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
AMANPOUR: Well, that, of course, would depend, as much as anybody, on the current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who, you know, has got about
nine or 10 lives, you know, right?
AMANPOUR: And many people are quite cynical about the timing of all this, because of his legal troubles, because of, you know, the herculean efforts
it took, three separate elections to actually hang on to power.
What do you think is -- has this -- is this another lifeline for Benjamin Netanyahu? Where do you see the politics? You're talking about internal
Israeli politics toward peace. Do you really see that?
LIVNI: Listen, I'm not a political commentator. But -- and I'm sure -- and I hear voices coming from the circlers, they are quite frustrated from
postponing the annexation plan. And as you said, peace between Israel and the Palestinians depends on leadership in Israel on the Palestinian side.
But yet, what we see today is that Netanyahu decided to postpone annexation and to normalize the relations with the UAE. So, for now, we are gaining
time without annexation.
I don't know whether he would gain politically for it or not. We are having a huge debate in Israel about Israel's democracy, about the way Netanyahu
is attacking law enforcement and the Supreme Court in Israel. So, yes, we have huge debates in Israel these days about corruption, about everything.
But this is a moment in which having peace with another Arab state, this is good news for Israel. And postponing annexation is also good news.
AMANPOUR: It's good news indeed, for the region. So, it's a big day.
AMANPOUR: Tzipi Livni, always good to have your perspective. And you have been there at the cold face, so to speak, of these negotiations. So, it's
great to hear from you.
There are these same debates going on in the United States about democracy, about law and order, about, you know, legality of elections and so forth.
And now, we turn to South Carolina, a state that could make history in an already historic year.
It is where Joe Biden was handed the Democratic Party leadership after his decisive win in that state's primary. But for the past 17 years, it's been
red through and through, with Republican senator and Trump convert confidante, Lindsey Graham, unchallenged, that is until now. Jaime
Harrison, the first African-American chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party is joining us now from the state capital of Colombia, and he is
taking on Lindsey Graham.
Welcome to the program, Jaime Harrison.
JAIME HARRISON (D-SC), U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: Thank you so much.
AMANPOUR: What is it -- it's great to talk with you. It's such a vital state, as we've established here. What is it that makes you think for the
first time in 17 years, nearly 18 years, you're going to be able to unseat Senator Graham?
HARRISON: Well, Christiane, first of all, you know, I grew up in long odds. I'm the son of 16-year-old mom who had to stop to school to take care
of me. I grew in a family with not much education and not much money. And despite it all, despite those long odds, I went to Yale in Georgetown and
worked on Capitol Hill and became the first black chair of the state party.
And so, you know, that is a uniquely American story. It's a story that you can rise up from the very lowest ranks and rise to the tops. Well, in this
race, folks have given me long odds. And they said that, you know, you can't beat history. But what folks don't understand is that we are making
history in this race. I have outraised Lindsey Graham in the last two quarters. I raised $14 million in the last quarter, more than any other
candidate in the country right now, with the only exception of one.
And so, we are well on our way to making history here in South Carolina. We've got a campaign on the ground like we have never seen in the
Democratic Party with over 5,000 volunteers. And so, this is about closing the chapter on the old south, which Lindsey is a part of, and opening and
writing a whole new book called the new south, one that is bold, that inclusive and diverse. And that's what we're building here, Christiane, and
that's why I'm so excited about the prospects moving forward.
AMANPOUR: Do you think, Jaime Harrison, that there's something about the timing, the time wherein the historic moment in the United States, and
frankly are not a the world, the pandemic, you know, the racial uprising for justice, you know, all of the things, the economic, you know, disaster
that we're seeing as well. I mean, obviously, South Carolina has been very, very badly hit by COVID, one of the worst-hit in the world if you account
for numbers and population. Is there something about that that is also, you know, having people question the current leadership?
AMANPOUR: Yes, Christiane, you know, the stars are aligning here. And I think you add to the fact that the guy I'm running against, Lindsey Graham,
has changed. As you can recall, when John McCain was alive, Lindsey Graham was somebody that we all respected regardless of your party. You may not
have agreed with him all the time, but you had respect for him because you thought he could rise above the fray. He really helped parties come
But that's a different guy from the guy that I'm running, yes, right now. This Lindsey Graham hasn't been home to do an in-person town hall in almost
three years. You know, he has said over our dead bodies will he allow a federal extension of unemployment benefits when we got over 700,000 people
here in the state that have filed for unemployment. And then you add on the fact that, you know, the legacy of this seat. This was a seat of John C.
Calhoun, the seat of Strom Thurmond, of Ben Pitchfork Tillman. And now, we have an opportunity for the first time, it will be the very first state to
have two African-American senators serving at the very same time.
And so, as I've always said, if folks really want to be a part of this, come to jaimeharrison.com, be a part of this movement, to really start a
whole new history and bright future for the State of South Carolina.
AMANPOUR: Of course, the other senator currently serving is Republican Tim Scott, I believe. You talked about the old Lindsey Graham and the new
Lindsey Graham. Well, let me just play a mashup or it's a campaign ad, attack ad against him, not by your campaign but by Get Lindsey Out group.
And it's sort of -- it refers to how he was a never trumper until he was a Trump trumper. Let's just play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): He's a (INAUDIBLE). Every time I turn around, I'm being asked about Donald Trump saying one dumb thing after another and
I'm tired of it. President Trump deserves a Nobel peace prize, and then some. He's a race baiting xenophobic religious bigot. No, I don't think
he's a xenophobic race baiting religious bigot. I've never known an impeachment trial without a witness. That's frankly not fair. I have
clearly made up my mind, I don't need any witnesses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Jaime Harrison, you said that, you know, many people respected Lindsey Graham. He was known as somebody who could, you know, forge deals
across the aisle. What do you think led to that change?
HARRISON: I don't know. It's like watching a live version of the invasion of the body snatchers. I don't know where the old Lindsey Graham has gone.
But I do know this new Lindsey Graham just doesn't have a set of core values or core convictions, or even a backbone in his spine to stand up for
what is right. You know, these issues don't need to be partisan. It's not about Democrats versus Republicans or progressives verse conservatives.
Ultimately, the issues that people are dealing with here in South Carolina are about right issues versus wrong issues.
We need someone who's going to fight for our rural hospitals and make sure that our small businesses have the funds that they need in order to stay
open, to make sure that, you know, we have basic services. You know, just two years ago 14 of our 46 counties have no OB/GYNs. 38 percent of our
rural communities have no access to broadband. So, they couldn't do Zoom calls or anything like that. And so, these are fundamental issues and
they're not new to South Carolina. It's just that COVID has made them worse.
And the question is, where is Lindsey Graham? And most of the time he's either, you know, sitting next to Sean Hannity for a Fox News interview or
on a golf course. We need a senator that is going to be a workhorse for South Carolina, not a show horse. Someone who is going to work for our
beautiful state and the people that live in it.
AMANPOUR: Again, Lindsey Graham of 2015 said some of the nicest things anybody can say about a human being when he really praised then Vice
President Biden. I mean, he essential said, you know, what is not to like? He's the nicest person I think I've ever met in politics. He's as good a
man as God ever created. So, that was 2015.
I ask you that, because I wonder, can Joe Biden and now Kamala Harris, that ticket, turn South Carolina into a democratic state? In other words, can
they win the state, do you think?
HARRISON: I think there's a great opportunity here. And part of it is, you know, Kamala Harris probably visited South Carolina more than any other
candidate that ran for president last cycle. And Joe Biden has been a friend of South Carolina for a long time. This is a man who gave one of the
eulogies at Strom Thurmond's funeral. He gave a eulogy at Fritz Hollings, you know, the dredging of the Port of Charleston is helping because of the
help of Joe Biden.
And so, they have been to some of these places and communities that Lindsey Graham hadn't been to in years. So, they understand the hardships of the
working people here. And partnering with me on these issues that we have to deal with, I think we're going to make a formidable team.
AMANPOUR: Look, we obviously invited Senator Graham on to this program. We have done many times. He's declined. We hope for, you know, an acceptance
of our offer at some point. But I do want to ask you this. You know, there's been a lot of fear about contesting the election, about, you know,
what might happen, voter suppression, all of those things that have been, you know, raced because of what President Trump has said and the like. Let
my just play for you what Congressman Jim Clyburn told me not so long ago about his fears for the integrity of the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): I've been warning now for about three years that this president does not plan to give up the office. He does not plan
to abide by the constitution of the United States. He does not plan for there to be a fair unfettered election taking place on November 3rd.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, that was him talking to me not so long ago. And I wonder if you feel the same way. And I wonder if you are surprised, like many were,
at an extraordinary letter that was signed and published by two former, you know, military officers, army officers, who had served several tours in
Iraq, you know, basically saying -- and I'm going to read it, the president of the United States is actively subverting our electoral system.
Threatening to remain in office in defiance of our constitution. If Donald Trump refuses to leave office at the expiration of his constitutional term,
the United States Military must remove him by force, and you must give that order. He's writing to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Milley.
What do you make of that development?
HARRISON: Well, Christiane, I really hope that this doesn't have to get down to that. It has never happened in the history of this great nation. I
am very, very concerned with the subversion of, you know, basic institutions like the Postal Service, where many of our veterans, when they
come back from fighting wars and they go and they get employed. It's an institution in our small and rural communities. Many people get their
medicines through the Postal Service.
And for us to start to play politics with the Postal Service and how we conduct elections here, that is un-American. And we cannot have that and
they cannot stand. And I don't care if it's a Democrat or Republican, we cannot allow that as Americans to allow our basic institutions that make
our democracy work be undermined by anyone.
AMANPOUR: And very finally and very quickly, do you think -- I can hear a groundswell of suggestion that voters might just have to go and vote in
HARRISON: Well, you know, or folks, we have absentee here in South Carolina. And so, folks can still apply for their absentee ballots, have it
mailed to them and they can drop it off at the precincts. But I just hope that we could conduct elections like we conduct the elections. America is
supposedly the democracy. We're that shining city on the hill. We are the fighter -- we fight for democracy across this nation. We shouldn't have to
be fighting for our own democracy.
And so, you know, I'm encouraging and urging my friends on both sides of the aisles, Democrats and Republicans, let's stand up and show people that
we understand the power of democracy and we're going to fight for that democracy, even here in our own country.
AMANPOUR: Amazing times. Jaime Harrison, thank you for joining us. Senate candidate in South Carolina.
Now, sports has been sideswiped by COVID. Could the pandemic cancel American college football? Well, the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Mountain West are
the big college football conferences pulling teams this fall. Sportswriter, Dave Zirin, and retired NFL defensive end and activist, Michael Bennett,
co-authored "Things That Make White People Uncomfortable."
Here's our Hari Sreenivasan talking about collegiate athletes being empowered by the Black Lives Matter movement and demanding their safety
against COVID with the hashtag, we are united and we want to play.
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Christiane. Thanks, Dave and Michael, for joining me.
This seems like an intersection of so many things that are happening at this moment. We've got student athletes, their long-term struggles, we've
got a pandemic, we've got Black Lives Matter, we've got restarting schools, and that's part of why I wanted this conversation with you, because of what
is happening with college football seems to give us a gateway into so many other interesting things. So, let me start with this about college
Dave, have you ever seen anything like this where students successfully advocated on their own behalf in such a public way, where in a matter of
weeks we actually saw action that would impact their lives and their collegiate careers?
DAVE ZIRIN, SPORTS EDITOR, THE NATION: No, I mean, you would have to go back to the late 1960s when you had a period of the revolt of the black
athlete, when a lot of black student athletes, as they're called, although I have problems with phrase, student athlete, as we can discuss, but a lot
of them organized themselves against racist coaches, against not having any black cheerleaders against not being able to choose their own classes. I
mean, there was a wave of that in the late '60s and early '70s by athletes who were empowered by the black freedom struggle. And I think that's the
reflection we've seen out today.
A lot of these athletes feel empowered by the Black Lives Matter movement to actually speak out on their own behalf. And so, it's not just the
pandemic. It's seeing people in the streets call out for racial justice, has them applying that to their own lives.
SREENIVASAN: Michael, I want you to take us back, if you could. When you were playing at Texas A&M, could you imagine a moment where students would
just say, listen, I want scholarship protection. I want the costs of the medical care associated with this pandemic paid for. You know, I am not
just your entertainment. I'm a human being. I mean, has this power dynamic shifted in just a short time between when you were in school and today?
MICHAEL BENNETT, RETIRED NFL PLAYER: No, I couldn't imagine.
I feel like, before, there was a lot of fear. We didn't have Colin Kaepernick taking a knee. We didn't have that moment, that climax moment to
push everybody over the edge. There was a lot of quietness.
And it was -- people were subjugated to a lot of things. And I think, looking back, I don't think we had the courage to be able to collectively
unionize almost, in a sense, and really ask for what we really wanted, knowing that we were the product, knowing that we were the ones who were
bringing an income into the school, and knowing the things that we face when we come into this, as Dave was talking about, being able to select
your class, not being pushed into a certain way.
And to see that, finally, they're coming together as a whole and challenging the NCAA on their status, and knowing how it's been -- being
ability to benefit and profit off of young amateur athletes, and not allowing them to make any income, and knowing that they have all almost put
them in a situation where they had to deal with paying on their whole life in the continuation after they finished with the sport.
I think any contract that you sign in perpetuity is a dangerous contract.
SREENIVASAN: Dave, there were two separate hashtags that seemed to merge. And in a way, these students accomplished something that the rest of the
country has not.
There was the #weareunited hashtag and then there was the #wewanttoplay. And for a while, those were almost wedged against each other. Walk us
through what happened.
DAVE ZIRIN, "THE NATION": Sure.
Two of the big five conferences have now said, we are not going to be playing football this far -- this fall. And what that did was, it agitated
a lot of the athletes who were saying, we need to unite, we need to unionize, we need to have a say our health care, we need to have a say in
how we're treated during this pandemic.
That shifted. And they started to say, like, well, wait a minute, we actually do want to play, though. We just want to be able to have a say in
how this playing comes about. The problem, though, is that they don't have a players association. The problem is that there is no centralized united
leadership, like a commissioner, like you have in the NFL or the NBA.
And so there's no real way to organize and get what these college athletes so obviously deserve. So, instead, what you had was different conferences
backbiting against each other, different medical experts, people were turning to at different times, saying what they necessarily wanted to hear
about whether to open or not open.
You had a lot of lawyers involved on the question of liability. And before you knew it, you had a good portion of the college football season, as of
this recording, just completely up in smoke.
SREENIVASAN: Michael, tell us how important that last year of playing can be.
I mean, in this context, it seems like, if you're on the bubble or a good player, this could determine your placement in the draft, on how high
you're selected, how much money you might get as a signing bonus. And, then, alternatively, there's also the potential here is your health from
the virus itself or the health of one of your loved ones.
I mean, how hard is it for a player to deal with that?
BENNETT: I think it's a difficult decision.
I mean, you have to the duality of wanting to achieve something at a high level, then also duality of just being a student athlete and having to deal
with the health part. So, it's like you're in a conundrum because you don't know what to do really.
And being a student athlete or being actually in the final year of your collegiate years is really important to you trying to put yourself in a
position to be able to be in combine.
But I think this is bigger than that. I think this is the moment where the exploitation of the collegiate athlete is on the bubble of bursting. And I
think, as a collegiate athlete, it's hard to -- some of the athletes might find it hard to sacrifice for the greater good.
But, at this moment, the greater good is what is -- what will be better for a lot of the younger athletes who are coming to the college level.
SREENIVASAN: Dave, you have called the college football system a plantation system. What do you mean by that?
ZIRIN: Well, because I feel like it's been organized for a generation, at least, on the basis of the systematic exploitation of primary -- primarily
And it has -- there's this big sucking sound in college football that involves the taking of black wealth that is created and putting it in the
pockets of administrators, of coaches, and of primarily white administrators of the game itself.
I mean, college football, you take a step back from it, it is the second most profitable and popular sport in all of the United States to the
National Football League. That's the only sport it's behind in terms of ratings and money.
There's currently billions of dollars of television contracts out there to broadcast college football. College football coaches are the highest paid
state employees in -- I believe it's 39 of the 50 states it's the football coach in the state that's the highest paid public employee.
And to make it even more stark, just so people understand it, when Clemson won the national championship back in 1981, their coach, Danny Ford, made
$50,000 a year. The coach now, Dabo Swinney, makes $10 million a year.
So that's when I call it -- when I refer to it as a plantation system, it's a system where the athletes do not get paid for the labor they put in. And
it's not a coincidence to me that the most exploitative sport, which is college football, is a sport that is absolutely dependent on black bodies
for the purpose of its profitability.
SREENIVASAN: Michael, you have heard the familiar refrain from the NCAA: Listen, you're -- and Dave referenced this here -- you're getting an
education. You're still amateurs. This changes the dynamic if you were to get paid.
Should college athletes be compensated? Should they be able to unionize?
BENNETT: I mean, if we're going off of simply capitalism and a fair business deal would be, if you achieve a certain amount of success and you
achieve -- you bring in your company a lot of money, then you are -- you would have a stock option, you would have dividends in some type of
And I think, as a collegiate athlete, collegiate athletes should be paid, because, if you look at a lot of the collegiates, you go back to Johnny
Manziel, and you look at his jersey being sold without his name on it, we know that he has the highest sold jersey.
We look back at Cam Newton, and we look back at all these great athletes who were put -- going to the NFL, but their jerseys were being sold in so
many different ways. And they -- and the university benefited off their names and benefited off the papers and benefited off that.
You got collegiate athlete who can't even have food, but they're the number one prospect. But the athlete is stuck in a situation where he can't
achieve anything and get any amount of money for his service.
And I think we do look back at the degree -- I mean, depending on what degree you got, who knows what -- a bachelor's degrees isn't worth much
these days. And I think if the collegiate athlete isn't allowed to benefit off of his skill, which is his brand, which is body, which the university
is using, then what else is there for him to do, besides -- they say, you got this degree, but it's not worth the paper that it's printed on, just
SREENIVASAN: Michael, I want to also just touch on the NFL.
Like, since training camp has started, somewhere around 60 -- I think 56 players as of last week have already tested positive with this virus.
You played a position, defensive end. You are literally face to face with a guy who -- you guys are battling every down.
BENNETT: Halitosis. Yes, you get a lot of halitosis coming right back at you.
SREENIVASAN: So, is there any way possible for this sport to be played safely, even -- what kind of testing regimen? What is some way that you
could play such a close-contact, incredibly physical sport, where you're exerting so much energy, safely?
BENNETT: Honestly, I think this whole idea of playing the sport safely, I think, when we look back at Donald Trump and the way that he was able to
articulate a message around capitalism over the morality of the citizens, I think that was the opening gate into a lot of these jobs, and a lot of this
pushback from a lot of the citizens realizing that a lot of these businesses and a lot of these things that they love don't share the same
amount of love.
And we used to romanticize with our occupation and think that, wow, my job, I love it, it loves me in the same type of way. And now we're looking back
and realizing that, at the bare minimum, the most important thing of all was always achieving money.
And I think it's going to be really hard to find a safe way, and not allow -- not to see any players get this virus, because, at the same time, we
know it's violent. We know that the sport of NFL, it -- you have to be close, you have to be touching.
So, I don't know. I don't know if there's -- if it's possible to go whole season and not spread the virus.
SREENIVASAN: I want to ask also about this moment that we're in now.
You were playing at a time when players, including Colin Kaepernick and yourself, were protesting silently. You got a lot of criticism for it. And
here you are now. You turn on some of these NBA games, MLB games, you have entire teams taking a knee together.
You see referees, players coaches doing it. What does that mean for you?
BENNETT: I mean, I kind of worry about the idea of symbolism. I'm worried that symbolism is -- people see that as being the number one goal to
And I think we have to be careful to not be a part of the moment, and continue thinking about it as a movement. I think looking back as being --
seeing and being a part of those things, it felt more risky at those moments, because you -- it wasn't the popular thing to do.
And I think now we are looking at something, and it's becoming popularized in a culture, where things seem to be instant, when you look at Instagram,
you look at Facebook. Everything seems to be trending.
But I think we have to wait it out to see how far, how long and how strong those symbols really mean, because, at the end of the day, we have a lot of
these owners and a lot of these teams saying that black lives matter, but we look at -- we start to take a deep jog through their minds and deep job
through their (INAUDIBLE) or who they're connected to, we start to really see the arms and things of what they're connected to.
We will see a lot of contradictory notions. We will see support of Donald Trump. We will see a support of -- we see a lot of different things that we
don't really want to see. And I think we have to be able to really be honest and be reconciled with what the truth of the ownerships of these
teams do, and what the players do and who we really are.
I think trying to be a part of this moment and trying to find a way to be a part of this social world, I think that's the thing that we have to be
careful of. I think, in some form, in some way, that the NFL needs to have honest conversations, not just with media, but being able to have honest
conversation with its players publicly, such as being the commissioner having an honest conversation with some of the players about why did it
take so long, because I think there's a sense of a relationship that's been broken between the players and the coaches, especially when it comes to
Black Lives Matter.
ZIRIN: Michael said something really important that I want to underline.
We have to remember that the goal was never to have the right to kneel or sit during the anthem. The goal was never to have free speech during the
anthem. That's not what this was about. This has been about police reform. And so the concern is that, when all the focus is on what the NBA players
are doing during the anthem and whatnot, then it just basically becomes, like, commodifying dissent.
Like, it becomes almost a marketing tool, like, look how woke we are, and not something that's directed towards a particular movement goal, which is
what this has been all about from beginning.
SREENIVASAN: Dave, I'm sure not surprised when you see the president talk about low ratings for NBA, it's because of the activism.
I mean, it's part of the pattern of how he has used sports over the last several years.
ZIRIN: Yes, I think President Trump, the most disciplined part of his entire presidency has been to launder racial animus through sports. Or you
want to call it racial dog whistling or you want to call it racism, whatever you want to call it.
He has constantly use sports, particularly sports that are centered around black athletes, namely, the NFL and the NBA, as a place to sort of whip up
his base. Like, if you notice what he said about the NBA, he said, look how bad their ratings are. They're not doing a great job, like hockey.
It's like, you don't need to be Al Sharpton to figure out what he's saying. And, also, it would be worth pointing out that the NBA's ratings are
something like three times as high as hockey's ratings. But when has he ever let facts get in the way?
The point is to use the players as basically a distraction for people, as a way to -- so, it's like, don't look at the pandemic, don't look at how
divided the country is, don't look at how much pain people are in economically right now. Blame these wealthy athletes who don't appreciate
what a great country this is.
SREENIVASAN: But, Michael, why do you think that sports is such a proxy for all of these different types of culture wars that we have?
I mean, on the one hand, what was very simple was cheering for your team, wearing your team's colors, jersey, going to tailgate, whatever, having a
great time. But all of a sudden, now it seems that your support of a team or a specific player or a league is a political statement in and of itself.
BENNETT: Oh, I think we're living in a politicized world right now, because a lot of things are worried about the politics of how man is going
to be treated.
We're looking at the racial disparities doing COVID. It showed. And I think, a lot of times, the teams and players are starting to grab back
their humanity. There's always been this sense of this subhumanism when you were an athlete. You were a part of this class that didn't -- that didn't
get sick. You didn't -- you didn't associate with all these different things.
And now athletes are having this awakening. And I think the whole world is having this awakening into its responsibility to its fellow citizen.
When you look at an athlete, you like to not think that they're a part of the system, but they are a part of it in every single way. So, now when an
athlete stands, you look at Colin Kaepernick, and you look at what he did, a lot of people hated what he did, because they're saying that, oh, he's
bringing sports and politics and religion into all these different things.
But why would we -- when we get on the field, why would our blackness be taken away when we go into this world, and people still see us as a color,
they still see us as a threat, they still see us as something other than human?
And I think, when we talk about our political views, that brings back the human side of this. And I think it's important, as being an athlete, to
recognize those things and recognize the responsibility of being able to speak up and recognize the responsibility of really being a full citizen.
SREENIVASAN: All right, Dave Zirin, Michael Bennett, thank you both.
ZIRIN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Sports on the front line of activism.
And, finally, something magically different with musician Jacob Collier. The 26-year-old exploded onto the scene with his 2016 album "In My Room,"
which was recorded, you guessed it, in his room.
He uses layers and layers of tracks and plays most of the music himself. This process can also take place in his bathroom. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Something to make us smile.
And tomorrow, Friday, this Grammy Award winner is releasing his latest album, "Djesse Vol. 3."
He's joining me now from home here in London with perhaps the most impressive Skype setup on the planet, and we're going to take a look at it.
Jacob Collier, welcome to the program.
AMANPOUR: Oh, my gosh. OK, so you have got -- hi. Hi, Jacob.
I saw you overhead, and now I'm seeing you face to face. Is this all Skype you have got rigged up there?
JACOB COLLIER, MUSICIAN: This is a bit of a multicamera fancy Skype setup I have got running, which has been super useful in quarantine, if I'm
completely honest with you.
AMANPOUR: Well, listen most people are asked. We do try to ask, how is everybody doing in quarantine? How has it been for them during this COVID
For you, I think it's been a really productive time, right?
COLLIER: Right. Yes.
I mean, to be honest, I'm so grateful for it. It's brought me a lot of joy, a lot of time to think and reflect and spend time with family. I have sort
of fallen in love again with parts of the creative process that I never get a time to really get jiggy with, you know, because I'm touring or
traveling, collaborating, doing things like that.
I don't get to hang out in this room and just make things. And I think I have really, really valued the time and space to do those things in this
AMANPOUR: Tell us a little bit about the one that we sort of set you up with. We saw the song that you're playing in the bathroom.
And you're not just sitting in the bathroom in various areas and in the bath. You're using the sound of toilet paper and the sound of other things
and the percussion of other just ordinary bathroom things that you would find there.
What brought you to this?
COLLIER: It's something I have always loved doing, I mean, since I was very, very young.
Really, like growing up in this exact house, actually, this was my music room as a 1-year-old. So I think, for me, there's always been something
magical about music that sounds like a person's life. And so, for me, be it a saucepan or a badminton racquet or some kind of weird marble, it's always
been something that I have been drawn towards, recording the sounds, sampling them, and then making them groove.
AMANPOUR: And who did we just see pop up there?
You have got Mahalia. And you have also got Ty Dolla Sign, the rapper?
COLLIER: Yes, that's Ty.
I had a lot of fun putting these guys in mirrors and in those.
COLLIER: It was -- it took a little bit of time.
I stuck my iPhone right at the top of the room, where you can see the whole room. And I made sure that there was a zone for Mahalia and a zone for Ty
Dolla Sign, so that, when that chorus hits, you have got multiple Jacobs, as per normal, and then I think Mahalia is in the window and Ty Dolla Sign
is in the mirror, if I recall correctly.
AMANPOUR: Yes, yes, that's true. That is exactly what we saw.
And it's really -- I mean, obviously, it's really interesting. And you have been -- I mean, when people hail you as a jazz messiah, what do you think?
And are you really jazz, or is it a mixture of genres? Can you define yourself by a particular genre?
COLLIER: I have always been really confused by the idea of sort of segregating music into these different categories.
For me, it's one massive language. When I was growing up as a kid, I was such a sponge. So, there was Prince and Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson
on the one hand, and then Bartok and Stravinsky and all these strange classical composers on another. And then there was Beck and there was
Bjork, and there was Bobby McFerrin.
And, for me, it was all music. And there was no reason to say, well, that belongs in the folk category, this belongs in the jazz category. So, for
me, I think it's all about music.
I suppose -- I'm not sure how I'd exactly describe my sound. I have almost sort of made it my mission to not be able to be categorized by one thing.
But I think a lot of my sort harmonic sensibilities do stem from jazz. I think it's a fascinating place to spend time and listen.
But I think jazz informs every different kind of music. And so, for me, I really enjoyed, especially with this new album, "Djesse Vol. 3," just
bringing all of these different flavors together and sort of building bridges between styles and getting those bridges to make sense.
AMANPOUR: So, look, some of the great traditional or the great fathers of music right now, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, they have spoken really very
highly of you.
But also you're obviously really popular with the young generation and people who kind of like your nontraditional approach to this. And I think
many people want to know, do you think this is where music might be going? I mean, what are you trying to -- or what are you trying to say about how
you use all daily objects, the music, the layering, how you create your sound?
COLLIER: Well, I think everybody's a musician. And I think that all it really takes is the courage to go and put some sounds together and get them
to make sense.
I wouldn't declare myself a master on any particular instrument, but I have never been too afraid to try. And so this room is actually filled with a
ton of different musical sounds, from guitars, to basses and drums and all sorts of things, weird instruments from around the world, and Moroccan
instruments, Indian instruments.
And so, for me, I wouldn't say I have any grand plan. Like, it's all about trying to explain this or state this or make this possible, but I do think
that I'm trying to be myself. And I'm going to do it on my own terms, and I'm going to do it on my own time.
And I think that, hopefully, there's something about that process of creating from that place which will resonate with people. And the joyous
thing to me is that they seem to listen.
That's like a bonus to my natural childlike process, or something like that, I guess.
AMANPOUR: And when we just see these multiple screens on -- as I'm looking at you and talking to you, the viewers can see some of the video and all
your multiple cameras. And it's weirdly compelling.
And you try to focus on one of you, and then you see you playing this instrument and that instrument, and just about every instrument under the
sun. You grew up in a musical family, right? Isn't your mom -- I think she's a teacher at the Royal Academy?
COLLIER: That's absolutely true. You speak the truth.
Yes, for me, it was almost like a second language growing up. In every corner of the room, there was something that made sound. And it's funny. In
quarantine, my family and I, which is my mom, who's a single mother, and my two little sisters, we have been singing Bach chorales every night just for
a bit, like really (AUDIO GAP) thinking about music together, talking about music together.
And, for me, I think that there was something very organic about growing up in a world where it wasn't about having music lessons and saying this is
the right way to do this, or this was the wrong way to do this. It was more, this is a space, you have a voice, use your space, use your voice,
and see what happens.
AMANPOUR: Well, in a minute, I'm going to ask you to play us out live with "All I Need."
But can you first tell us about it? What is the song? It's a love song. How did you come up with it? What was the influence. And then we're going to
ask you to play it.
Jacob, can you hear me?
COLLIER: Hey. Oh, sorry. I think you cut off one second.
Yes. "All I Need" is -- it's a love...
AMANPOUR: Yes. OK. Tell me about it, yes.
It's quite sort of incandescence, a sort of wonder blast or something. It's quite groovy. And I knew I wanted to collaborator for it that had this kind
of levity, and for whom things weren't so heavy and who wasn't particularly pretentious, but who was just amazing.
Mahalia was like the perfect fit. And so I wrote the song. Mahalia sings part of it, and Ty Dolla Sign sings part of it. And for me this song is --
it's almost like the sort of -- the serendipitous sort of alchemy of joy and how you can transform every different kind of force inside your life,
and it can become something ultra-joyful.
AMANPOUR: OK. Well, now I want you to start playing "All I Need."
And we're going to say goodbye to our viewers. Thank you so much for watching. And you can find us on social media. But you're going to listen
and watch Jacob Collier play "All I Need."
And I think you have got a whole load of different camera angles as well.
So, hit it Jacob.
COLLIER: Thank you so much.