Sporting events pit Americans against one another and, at least at the collegiate and professional levels, can result in serious and debilitating injuries, and sometimes with deadly results.  Such games are not played for any other reason than to generate profits for the colleges and universities, as well as the professional team players owners.  So, why play the anthem at events, which are more akin to those played centuries ago, back in the Roman Colosseum?  My focus here is specific to pro sports.

When I have watched the National Anthem being played on TV, I always sensed that people were standing out of habit, and any sense of genuine interest was more out of endurance, rather than patriotism.  As the camera scanned the stands, many of the fans, although standing, were demonstrating their reverence by:  wearing their hats; talking; taking selfies; and checking their smartphones, while others saw the opportunity to make a trip to the rest room, or TO make a beer run.

I think that it is quite absurd that our Tweeter-in-Chief has become such a patriot, when he shirked his own duty during the Vietnam Era, when his contemporaries were deployed!  Donald had five deferments, and one of those was a mysterious medical one for “bone spurs,” which never hindered his tennis game.   Now, how patriotic was that?

Donald Trump is supposedly a businessman.  If so, he should realize how moronic it would be for him to expect owners to fire some of today’s best pro players, such as Chris Curry and LeBron James, just because they pissed Trump off!

Firing someone, who has a multi-year contract—upwards of $25 million per annum, plus various incentives—would become immediately due and payable on the firing date.   So too might championship and personal accomplishment bonuses, since the players were denied the opportunity to compete for them.   That would cause team revenue to plummet!

Trumpet also suggests that fans boycott the games if the players do not comply with his inane ideas.   At the price of tickets today, I guarantee that very few fans would boycott the games for a reason that most Americans regard as idiotic.   In fact, a growing majority of Americans appear to be embarrassed by Trump, on a daily basis.

Considering the tense situation in North Korea, various on-going wars, and our nation’s failure to have just one diplomatic voice speak for America, doesn’t Donald have more important matters to attend to than whether players stand, kneel, or sit during the National Anthem?  Perhaps his motivation lies elsewhere.

Apparently, this Anthem Intrigue is a political move on Donald Trump’s part, in order to stir-up his Base—especially the White Supremacists—and, perhaps, once again distract Americans from the Russia Collusion Investigation. So far, he hasn’t attacked any White athletes, just Black ones.

Consider how many Black men, and a few women, have been suspiciously killed at the hands of police officers, and very rarely were the officers even indicted, let alone tried and convicted.  There is no rational reason to question Black athletes’ concern for that form of racism, with he National Anthem reflecting their most public outrage!

At this Sunday’s NFL games, players—both Black and White—from many teams joined the boycott against Trump’s intrusion on their profession.  Several other teams remained in the locker room until the Anthem had ended.  Also, several of the owners took a knee in solidarity with their teams, as well.  It will be interesting to watch whether the players’ action will continue, and if it will spread to other professional sports.

Donald Trump is grasping at bullshit when he suggests that the military, who are deployed into Harm’s Way, are fighting for a flag, which is a mere symbol of what America stood for-pre-Trump!  The “grunts,” Army and Marine infantry each fight, first and foremost, to cover each other’s asses.  Other than that, all of the rest are mere platitudes, which politicians refer to on holidays.   But then how would a Draft-Dodger know?

NOTE: This piece was cross-posted to another site, on which some readers made comments that read more like fairy tales, rather than demonstrate a connection between war and the symbolism of the flag. During my two tours (1967-1968) in South Vietnam, many GI’s had small versions of their respective state flags; but, I never saw even one person who had a U. S. flag.


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  1. #1 by Autumn Cote (@WriterBeat) on September 25, 2017 - 2:44 PM

    Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to There is no fee; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our comfmunity and I thought this was well-written. I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. If “OK” please let me know via email.


    • #2 by cheekos on September 26, 2017 - 12:58 AM

      You have my permission to cross-post. CHEEKOS

  2. #3 by Candice Uhlir on September 25, 2017 - 11:24 PM

    Fully agree. The other thing that pisses me off as a veteran is seeing him salute. Mr. Trump is a civilian. Civilians do not have the priviledge of a salute since our military is and always has been under civilian control. As a draft dodger and coward he long ago gave up any right to salute.

    • #4 by cheekos on September 26, 2017 - 12:31 AM

      Candice, his saluting also pisses me off. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a former ‘General of the Army’, awarded to a few generals, and Commander of the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, refused to salute, when he was President. Ike said that salutes are a form of greeting among military men, which now includes women. Civilians, in turn, have the hand-shake, which is the equivalent.

      A little known fact about Ike was that he preferred to be called General rather than President, assumably after he had retired to his farm, in Gettysburg, VA. Incidentally, when he and Mamie attended the Inauguration of his successor, President John F. Kennedy, he left the paperwork, requesting that JFK activate him back into the Army. That request was honored with all due haste!

    • #5 by Don Nolte on October 15, 2017 - 5:17 PM

      I agree. I served from 1974-1978. It wasn’t cool than and it isn’t now. This phony outrage over the kneeling kills me. The draft ended in 1970 (?). There are so few people that have served in the military, coast guard, or the Peace Corps. Even volunteering at your local VA is asking too much.

      If you are got to question someone’s patriotism the door is opened to question yours.

      • #6 by cheekos on October 15, 2017 - 11:37 PM

        Don, thanks for visiting, and the comment. Next time you watch a game, notice how patriotic all those fans really are: hats on; laughing and talking; checking the babes out; looking at their smart phones. And the more adventurous ones use that ten minutes to make a beer run, or a trip to the john. Also, remember how the last line, first stanza ends” “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?” Yes, the official version does, indeed, end with a question mark!

  3. #7 by georgesmith1963 on September 28, 2017 - 12:03 AM

    Ain’t nothing finer than a super patriotic draft dodger.

  4. #8 by cheekos on September 28, 2017 - 5:10 PM

    Bars and restaurants will have to think twice before eliminating NFL, or games of others sports that might join in. Basketball, most specifically. The link from CNBC tells it all:

  5. #9 by cheekos on September 28, 2017 - 10:43 PM

    I like to read the Letters to the Editor in the local newspapers, to see how man readers understand the issues, and how many are brain dead.
    Perhaps the most poignant one that I have read is: Thinking that NFL players are “protesting the flag” is like thinking Rosa Parks was protesting public transportation.

    And on the reverse side, there was the lady who said that players should not interfere with entertainment; but, hold Town Hall meetings. TICKETS ARE GOING FAST!

    • #10 by Don Nolte on October 15, 2017 - 5:25 PM

      Why is the conversation about kneeling and the flag within mainstream news and sports talk radio and not about:

      1. Police.
      2. The courts that are dealing with identical or at least similar crimes involving African Americans as compared to whites. The outcomes are significantly different.
      3. Police officers that are on trial for incidents they are investigated for. I don’t have current data, but nationally a conviction was over 4% but under 5%.

      • #11 by cheekos on October 15, 2017 - 11:43 PM

        Don, from what I recall, many of the police shootings of unarmed black men have appeared to be somewhat systemic to certain police departments. Just remember Ferguson, Mo. The town was over 75% black; however, there were only four black officers on a force of 53. Institutionalized racism is endemic throughout America, and the Trump Base is very concerned about becoming a minority.

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