There are some news stories that fill me with hope and pride for this great nation of ours. This is one of them.
Mom and Pop restaurant owners are actually responding to the rich spoiled oppressed hypocrites in the NFL that kneeled in protest against the national anthem during Sunday’s games by shutting off TVs in their establishments. This comes after President Donald Trump denounced the protests and told sports fans to never condone their actions.
This is not an easy thing for the restaurant owners to do since their profit margins are known for being very small and they make a lot of money when people come in to watch sports games, eat chicken wings and drink beer.
One establishment that won’t show NFL games is the Palmetto Restaurant and Ale House in Greenville, SC. They have 30 TVs total. That’s a lot of football that could be watched!
This movement started in 2016 because former Forty Niner’s failing quarterback Collin Kaepernick found a girlfriend who is said to have ties to radical Islam. So because of this, he was convinced into protesting the fact that his 110 million dollar contract oppresses him. It then spiraled out of control from there, especially when President Donald Trump decided to chime in last week at an Alabama rally for Senate Candidate Luther Strange.
The President said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘get that son of a bitch off the field?’” Trump said to roaring applause and chants of “USA.” Trump then added if owners fired a player for protesting the anthem, they would become “the most popular person in the country. Because that is a total disrespect of our heritage.”
Sporting News Reports:
Sports and patriotism: Why we stand for the national anthem
“While not the first athlete to protest, Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit and then kneel during the national anthem — whether you agree or disagree with his actions — has started branches of dialogue in various directions.
Is he trying to attract attention to himself? Is he really trying to help a cause he feels is justified through his actions? Could Kaepernick have found a different way to levy his protest?
While many are adamant that Kaepernick has every right to his manner of protest, most people I have discussed his actions with have taken one of two tones: 1) “While I respect his right to protest, he has to respect my right to feel what he is doing is inappropriate.” 2) “Kaepernick should be punished by the San Francisco 49ers or the NFL.”
However, a completely different discussion has also emerged. Why is the national anthem played for all sports events in the United States? When did this tradition begin?
In the United States, this scene occurs before almost all organized sporting events at almost every level. I played Little League baseball, middle school, high school, and college sports. During and after my college days, I officiated high school and college basketball for 23 seasons. The anthem has been played and/or sung before almost every game. If an NBA team is playing the Toronto Raptors, the Canadian national anthem is also performed. Both are played before every NHL game. And NASCAR races likely are among the top sporting events for displays of patriotism.
During a recent HBO “RealSports” segment entitled, “The Anthem,” host Bryant Gumbel points out the United States seems to be the only country that plays it’s national anthem before sporting events. In 2014, author and musician Marc Ferris wrote a book entitled, “Star-Spangled Banner: The Unlikely Story of America’s National Anthem.” According to Ferris, the national anthem was spontaneously played during the seventh inning of the 1918 World Series (Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago Cubs) and the fans loved it. The anthem later became commonplace at baseball games during World War II as baseball stadiums added public address announcers to their venues.
From MLB, the tradition spread to other sports throughout the United States. According to Ferris, sports fans adopted the military’s reverence for the anthem by standing to show respect for the flag. As the “Real Sports” program also points out, since the tragedy of 9/11, we have seen a similar tradition born with the singing of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch at MLB games.
The New York Mets standing for the singing of “God Bless America.” (Getty)
Journalist and ESPN senior writer Howard Bryant says that Kaepernick chose the ideal situation to bring attention to police brutality. In an earlier 2013 article, entitled “Sports and Patriotism,” Bryant stated, “In a time of international terrorism, school shootings and domestic terrorism, the hero list has been expanded to include the police (at the ballpark, preferably officers who can sing) and firemen, as well as the military.” Bryant believes sporting events are being utilized as “pep rallies” for these groups, which helps to sell sports to the public.
Real Sports, with the Marist Center for Sports Communication, conducted a poll and found most differences of opinions occurred across political lines. In other words, whether you are Republican or Democrat determined your view on this topic. When asked the question, “Should athletes be required to stand for the national anthem?” 71 percent of Republicans said “yes,” and 36 percent of Democrats agreed. When asked whether athletes should be involved in politics or social causes, 66 percent of Democrats said “yes” and 41 percent of Republicans approved. Whether Republican or Democrat, overall only 8 percent of people believed the national anthem should no longer be played before sporting events. (The margin of error for the poll was plus or -2.7 percent.)
Despite the differences of opinion about the national anthem before sporting events, why do most Americans support this tradition? Many believe it is simply “the right thing to do,” or “important to show patriotism,” and to honor those who have sacrificed for our well-being. In his article entitled “War, sports and patriotism: The power of identification,” Mateo Sol says we identify with sports teams (as we may do with our country) to fulfill a need to feel a part of something larger than ourselves. Dr. Allen R. McConnell agrees that being a sports fan fulfills our need to belong and impacts our self-esteem.
Therefore, while standing for the national anthem at a sporting event, many feel a sense of community and connectedness that is attractive to our souls. At these same sporting events, although some fans are certainly cheering for opposing teams, there are usually underlying communal feelings of “we are here to cheer our teams.”
I will continue to stand for the rendering of the national anthem to show my respect for our country. Despite the United States being a country with wide-ranging diversity, my hope is our positive feelings for our country will sustain our acceptance of opinions dissimilar to our own.”
Of course, the left wing media became unhinged over these comments. So Trump being Trump, and having a gift for saying what most of us are thinking, he doubled down on his statements today by calling the protests “disgraceful” and blatantly disrespectful to veterans who fight for our flag and our country, I don’t think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem.”