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.