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Whoopi Goldberg returns to “The View” with Montgomery brawl folding chair necklace

Whoopi Goldberg returns to “The View” with Montgomery brawl folding chair necklace

Whoopi Goldberg paid homage to "folding chair man" Reggie Ray, largely considered the hero of a viral riverfront brawl, upon her return to Monday's episode of The View following a bout with COVID-19.

The moderator returned to the table with Sunny HostinSara HainesAna Navarro, and Alyssa Farah Griffin, where she addressed the August melee in Montgomery, Ala. that saw a rowdy group of white boaters attack a Black dock worker named Dameion Pickett when he tried to get them to move their pontoon so he could dock a city riverboat. For her return, Goldberg donned a silver folding chair necklace and offered a stern observation on gun control.

Whoopi Goldberg on The View
Whoopi Goldberg on The View

ABC Whoopi Goldberg wears a folding chair necklace on 'The View'

"I have to lead this off by saying we do not condone violence on this show," Goldberg began. "But there was a story that happened last month in Montgomery, Ala. where a riverboat captain [with] 227 passengers was trying to dock his boat in the spot he's supposed to be in, so the co-captain, who happened to be Black, went to confront this pontoon boat that was in the way. So a fight ensued and something happened that we have not seen."

Goldberg was making reference to the group of people, predominantly Black, who joined in in defense of the co-captain, including a fellow riverboat employee who jumped into the water and swam to the dock to help break up the fight. A large brawl broke out soon after, with police detaining 13 people. "Black people came out of nowhere," Goldberg quipped. "We dropped out of the sky. It was crazy."

"The memes were off the hook. I am wearing a folding chair," Goldberg added, holding up her necklace.

Though some folks have called the folding chair a "lethal weapon," Hostin noted that she'd "rather have the folding chair than a gun," adding, "That's why no one died during this brawl." Plus, she noted, Ray was the only one who wasn't charged with assault but disorderly conduct, as his actions were considered defense of himself and others. Four of the white boaters have since been hit with misdemeanor assault charges and have pleaded not guilty.

The moderators shared some memes of the folding chair after, then Goldberg offered the following sentiment: "What we all take away from this is, if we don't want to be hit, we do not hit other people. When somebody is doing their job, let them do their job. We're making light of this," she added, "but the truth of the matter is it didn't go south because there were no guns. So let's not do that again."

Goldberg previously missed the show's season 27 premiere after she contracted COVID-19.  "She's in really good spirits though, I've been texting back and forth with her," Hostin said during the episode. Goldberg previously came down with COVID in January 2022 and ended up missing several episodes in November.

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