This Football Season, Let’s Nix the National Anthem

And try something of a more local flavor instead.

Oakland Raiders teammates kneel during the national anthem before a game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 24, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. Keith Allison/CreativeCommons

In the slough of the Depression, Herbert Hoover, the humanitarian engineer from Iowa, said that “what this country needs is a great poem. Something to lift people out of fear and selfishness.”

But all the good intentions in the world can’t overcome an engineer’s tin ear. For in that very same year, 1931, President Hoover signed legislation establishing Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner” as our national anthem.

Key had been an opponent of the War of 1812, which perhaps endeared him to the Quaker Hoover, but his poem can’t hold a sparkler to Katharine Lee Bates’s “America the Beautiful,” runner-up in the anthem sweepstakes. And besides, why does a putatively decentralized republic even have a national anthem?


That question was posed during the anthem debate by Texas Democrat Hatton W. Sumners, who called the measure just another example of “government guardianship of the people everywhere and all the time.” If Americans wish to recite Key’s ditty, he said, “there is nothing to keep them from singing it,” but it ought not to be imposed upon free men and women.

Hard-headed realists will say that this train left the station long ago, but as football season kicks off, and a handful of gridders sit or kneel during the anthem in protest of racism, why not revisit first principles? What does the anthem ritual mean?

You’ll find no such discussion in the sports media, for no one regurgitates PC platitudes with such dreary regularity as the American sportswriter. I have yet to read, outside the ideological press, a critical word about Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who took the first knee.

Where have you gone, Dick Young, curmudgeon of the press box of half a century ago? I used to roll my eyes when he’d call Muhammad Ali “Clay” or launch into his literate-loudmouth-on-the-barstool routine, but Lord do we ever need Young-like dissenters in this craven season. Contrarian views are as rare on the sports page in 2018 as scores from the Sri Lanka Cricket League. Hell, the conformist wretches wouldn’t even stray from the party line during Bruce Jenner’s publicity stunt.

None of the sportswriters lauding Kaepernick’s stance have a tenth of his guts; they’d not risk their livelihoods by kneeling. Yet they will not consider that there are reasons for objecting to mass genuflection that have nothing to do with flag-worshipping jingoism.

I’d sit, too, if the anthem represented Lockheed Martin or the U.S. criminal code or the invasion of Iraq. But it doesn’t, any more than it is the musical embodiment of local police forces, the U.S. Postal Service, or the Department of Motor Vehicles.

In the moment, in the gathering, standing for the song is an affirmation of one’s bond with the immediate community—an act of sodality, of solidarity. It is merely, and fully, a sign of respect for one’s neighbors. To sit or kneel (unless you’re a Jehovah’s Witness) is a sneer and fleer at the people sitting around you. It’s like whipping the bird to the guy in the next seat.

To be sure, nationalistic displays have festered since 9/11. After the terrorist attacks of 2001, Major League Baseball ordered teams to play “God Bless America” during games, and it spread like a pox, even into the lowest of the minors. In many stadia, Irving Berlin’s empty gush has pushed aside “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” as the vocal centerpiece of the 7th-inning stretch.

Similarly, there is nary a professional sports contest in America at which spectators are not requested to stand and applaud members of the military. I like the populist sentiment, which flows from the same source that produces the black POW/MIA flags that fly in unfashionable venues. After all, how often are people of working-class occupations recognized as opposed to scorned or ignored? But come on: maybe government employees, including those in the armed forces, could applaud those of us who pay their salaries? Or better yet, we could all leave our jobs and professional identities behind when we enter the stadium and enjoy each other as compatriots.

Here is a more radical, which is to say rooted, suggestion: let’s scrap the national anthem at sporting events and instead have partisans in each city sing or play or rally to their own songs, their own anthems.

The San Francisco 49ers can go with Tony Bennett, Journey, or the Dead Kennedys. The Seahawks of Seattle have choices ranging from Perry Como to Nirvana. The Denver Broncos could select “Rocky Mountain High” or “Rocky Mountain Way”—or even better, a passage from Neal Cassady’s The First Third. The possibilities are as endlessly variegated as the country itself.

And hey, if you want to take a knee to “Philadelphia Freedom” or “The Night Chicago Died,” be my guest.

Bill Kauffman is the author of eleven books, among them Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette and Ain’t my America. He also wrote the screenplay for the feature film Copperhead.

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46 Responses to This Football Season, Let’s Nix the National Anthem

  1. a spencer says:

    Agreed, but the right singer who can do something with “land of the free, home of the brave” can really rev up a home crowd before kickoff. There’s a lot of value in that.

    If the Niners announce Dead Kennedys bobble heads, look out. How about Grateful Dead Night? Plenty of tripsters on the field at all times.

    I appreciate that the networks often fill their pro football bumpers with local music from the home team’s city. For instance, Prince and the Replacements in Minneapolis. But, I mean, each has more than one song. Husker Du wouldn’t hurt. Much.

  2. Dale McNamee says:

    Why not nix the NFL instead and do something better with the hours that would be spent in front of the mindless moron box ?

    Also, the money saved by not attending games abd buying team and player paraphernalia could be better spent…

    Finally, these so-called “atheletes” who are obscenely over-paid by the fans ( who make far, far, far less in wages ) should be taught a lesson in gratitude to America, where they can do so !

  3. Kurt Gayle says:

    @ Mr. Kauffman: About standing for the National Anthem at sporting events you say: “In the moment, in the gathering, standing for the song is an affirmation of one’s bond with the immediate community—an act of sodality, of solidarity. It is merely, and fully, a sign of respect for one’s neighbors. To sit or kneel (unless you’re a Jehovah’s Witness) is a sneer and fleer at the people sitting around you. It’s like whipping the bird to the guy in the next seat.”

    Most Americans agree.

    So why then do you suggest: “Let’s scrap the national anthem at sporting events” and sing other songs?

    Your suggestion seems both arbitrary and offensive to most Americans.

  4. Lawrence Coleman says:

    I don’t know, Bill, I think of it as a tip of the hat to America. Key’s words should remind us of the time when we were a new country engaged in a war with the world’s superpower (second round). It could’ve ended differently. A lot of people think that it should have, and that the world would have been better off if we had just become a large Canada, but I won’t go there. We prevailed and went on to pursue our destiny.

    It’s not law that you have to stand for the Anthem or sing it, and Mr. Kaepernick should have the right not to participate. His employment prospects are another matter, and the first thing various groups go after when a person makes a statement or does something they disapprove of is his job. That goes for both left and right.

    Perhaps it’s only proper that in a time of national dissolution, we have no national anthem, and while we’re at it, do we really need a flag?

  5. mrscracker says:

    Perhaps I’m in the minority but I really enjoy the National Anthem and think America the Beautiful is too syrupy. And I much prefer college football.
    I understand the National Anthem is tricky to sing but I wish folks would resist the urge to scat the notes around.

  6. fenster says:

    O Batavia!

    Not being snide; I actually like the idea. Can’t force it, of course. It would have to arise organically, and it could if we enter a period in which decentralization gets an upper hand for once and gains strength. Doesn’t mean we’d jettison a national anthem nor does it mean local anthems are essential to a decentralizing moment. The key is not the anthem but the moment, and if it happens.

    I love Kauffman’s notion that behind all the razzmatazz an anthem is best thought of as a sign of respect for one’s neighbors in whatever community is in one’s heart. But that makes the question a function of one’s heart, and of identity. And identity is as variable as it is inevitable. In turn community–what constitutes one’s neighbors?–is not a fixed thing.

    We got to be big and powerful by putting at risk some of the elements that support neighborly fellow-feeling and community. So the ability of a truly national anthem to bind in an organic fashion is made more tenuous by not only scale but by the many divisions in our national life. Even Trump’s NFL stunt suggest that the anthem is currently a football of sorts, with the ritual attendant to it an obligatory genuflect than an honest and voluntary tribute to a community of which we are deeply a part.

  7. JeffK says:

    Good article.

    America is over-militarized. Obscene, close to $800B a year in military spending. $6T in overseas US wars overseas. See the Military Times article below. What could have that money accomplished here at home?

    Then we have the local police being staffed by a lot of ex-military as LEOs. Equipped with lots of ‘surplus’ military equipment. Trained to escalate tense situations until dominance is achieved. Trained to shoot ‘center mass’, repeatedly, until to target is dead on the ground.

    Finally we have the VA, which is struggling massively to provide care for some very damaged soldiers. Even though they get $192B to do so.

    We are borrowing ourselves into bankruptcy to feed the Military and Medical Industrial Complexes. The bill will come due some day.

    Black athletes have a legitimate complaint: LEOs shooting unarmed black men, often without consequence. President Trump has masterfully re-branded their complaint into an us-vs-them, selfish, unpatriotic meme.

    My suggestion to black athletes: Take the issue away from Trump. Stand (or stay in the locker room) for the Anthem, as long as it is being played. Instead, all athletes in agreement with the protest should refuse to appear in any interview on any media (ESPN, Sportscenter, MNF, post-game analysis, etc) without the media providing a minute or two for them to make their case. Repeatedly. The sports media machine would have to provide the forum or lose at least 50% of their commentators. Then Trump would have nothing of consequence to complain about.

  8. Stephen Pickard says:

    I notice that there appears tp be no one of color dessenting . While I do not know for certain I imagine few people of color read the articles in this publication. My father is still alive at 100. When he was born he was as close in time to the end of the civil war as he would be to the nam war. He knew freed slaves. He knew people who faught on both sides of the war. He at birth was as close to Thomas Jefferson’s death as he would be to Steve Job’s death. Few people understand how young this nation is and people of color are still hated , discriminated against and the like. One can see how much further the movement has to go when the President calls them by curse words and calls for them to be kicked them out of the country. Few conservatives complain that the Koch brothers are over paid and because of their wealth they should keep quiet even though the country is not to their liking. So what to do if you are a person of color? State your views but only in a way that white conservatives find acceptable? Here is another thought. Go all in on the kneeling. Everyone who agrees with the essence of the complaint kneel. Show solidarity even if you are white. Perhaps if enough people join hands with this
    valid complaint we can get past the kneeling and embrase the cause. No need to kneel.

  9. TWilliams says:

    Does this mean that at events in the deep South, we could sing “Dixie?”

  10. connecticut farmer says:

    Two points:

    1.) Never liked “The Star Spangled Banner” as the anthem. “America the Beautiful” is MY national anthem. Check YouTube for Robert Merrill’s version. It’s very moving.

    2.) More to the point, why do we need to hear the national anthem being played at some dumb ballgame or hockey game. I never understood why we conflate sports games with patriotism.

  11. I Don’t Matter says:

    Kurt Gayle, speaking for “most Americans”. Who died and made you the American People’s Spokesman?

    If we can’t quite scrap the NFL yet (give it another 30 years though, what with all the concussions), at the very least we could stop abusing our national anthem by overusing it for this modern barbarism. But breath holding is not recommended…

  12. Mightywhig says:

    I liked it when the tenor used to sing America the Beautiful during the seventh inning stretch at Yankee games. At the Astros games, we sing “Deep in the Heart of Texas.” Of course we have the Anthem too, but few people sing that.

  13. Fred Bowman says:

    My feeling about playing the National Anthem at Sporting Events, and I’m a Navy Veteran, is that it needs to be scrapped. To many pseudo-patriots who use this to “honor?” America’s “warriors and heros” but say nothing about America’s “undeclared wars” all over the Middle East. It’s just “sunshine patriotism” at it’s worse. Anyway, just my .02 cents.

  14. BradleyD says:

    God Bless America would be better than the national anthem and should replace the Star Spangled Banner. Fight me.

  15. SteveM says:

    Re: So why then do you suggest: ‘Let’s scrap the national anthem at sporting events’ and sing other songs?

    Your suggestion seems both arbitrary and offensive to most Americans.”

    Kurt, the problem I have is the National Anthem integrated into a blasphemous, over-the-top, quasi-religious celebration of the U.S. War Machine which is now standard at major sporting events.

    And it is unfortunate that Bill Kauffman’s suggestion would indeed be offensive to most Americans because most Americans have been seduced into the Cult of Military Worship by the integrated propaganda machinery of the Pentagon, Corporate Complex and MSM.

    When will we see the Anthem being played in celebration of the American “heroes” who work hard at real jobs in the real economy that deliver real value to their fellow citizens?

    I’d be happy to stand for that…

  16. Jake says:

    “In the moment, in the gathering, standing for the song is an affirmation of one’s bond with the immediate community—an act of sodality, of solidarity. It is merely, and fully, a sign of respect for one’s neighbors.”

    This is a great point. This might explain why players kneel, because they feel excluded from their community by our tools of public order.

  17. Aqua says:

    So, just because some America hating thugs are upset: quit. Give in to those promoting division, anger, discord, grievance, sedition.

    Support Balkanization ceremonies at every NFL event. No longer the “United” States Of America, these games would demonstrate the Individual States Of America. No longer united around flag and nation through this common sport, just a bunch of local mobs with local tastes and preferences.

    Bad idea. Support the flag. Raise it and respect it. Especially now.

  18. DennisW says:

    I’ve never understood the need to play the national anthem before sporting events anyway. And every sporting event these days also seems to feel the need to impose some “troop appreciation” element also (And we now know that in the case of the NFL, the Pentagon has essentially bought this “commercial time” to celebrate the military-industrial complex). All an aspect of the over-militarization and centralization of American society that needs to end quickly.

  19. Sane Professor says:

    It seems fine and appropriate to play the national anthem at games involving US teams and when athletes are competing as Americans–like the mens and women’s soccer teams or the Olympic games. There is no need to preserve the anthem ritual at a Mets v. Dodgers or Cowboys v. Panthers game. The English Premier League does as Kauffman suggests–teams sing their own chosen anthems before games–such as “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at Liverpool games. We could do that here as well.

  20. Louism says:

    I have cancelled my ESPN
    I have stopped watching sports on TV and Cable
    I have cancelled my season tickets
    I have stopped entertaining business clients at sports bars or giving out sports tickets.

    Let them keep kneeling.
    Let them stop standing for the national anthem and the loyalty of grandfathers, fathers and their sons sharing in the love of a sports game will be severed. You’ve taken something that was a family event and made it political. Now that its political those sports franchises will live or die by their politics.

    50 years ago before the age of Jane Fonda and Ronald Reagan (never thought Id put those 2 names together), actors and entertainers and celebrities avoided politics and publicly badmouthing others. Entertainers were supposed to entertain. The studio system didn’t want to affect ticket sales with politics. They wanted to appeal to all americans and get rich by doing so.

    Today (nearly) everything and everyone is political but the wheel of fortune will eventually turn because their public figures and sports franchises and celebrity will eventually live or die by their politics. Don’t believe me. Ask Jane Fonda how many times she has been spit in the face by the vitriole of people who not only hated her politics and activism but think she was/is a traitor. Jane Fonda had to go to Vietnam during the war and sit on an a piece of artillery that fired at American planes to be that hated. 50 years later that level of vitriole is normal both from the leftists toward the right and the right towards the left.

  21. Kurt Gayle says:

    Mr. Kauffman said about standing for the National Anthem at sporting events: “In the moment, in the gathering, standing for the song is an affirmation of one’s bond with the immediate community—an act of sodality, of solidarity. It is merely, and fully, a sign of respect for one’s neighbors. To sit or kneel (unless you’re a Jehovah’s Witness) is a sneer and fleer at the people sitting around you. It’s like whipping the bird to the guy in the next seat.”

    To which I said: “Most Americans agree.”

    “I Don’t Matter” then said: “Kurt Gayle, speaking for ‘most Americans.’ Who died and made you the American People’s Spokesman?”

    When Americans were asked: “Do you think NFL players should stand and be respectful during the national anthem?” they answered:

    Yes: 64%
    No: 24%
    Unsure: 12%

  22. I Don't Matter says:

    Sure. Ask a group that comprises 70% “NFL fans” why they “watch less football now”, and give them a convenient option of “Players using the NFL as a stage for their political views”. Get the expected result.
    The poll was transparently designed to get the answer the NFL wanted, and it got it. As to how well it represented the views of “most Americans”, we’ll never know.

  23. Thaomas says:

    Singing the National Anthem is an appropriate expression of patriotism as is the athletes’ kneeling during the performance. The NFL owners made a terrible mistake in going along with the idea of a minority of viewers that the athletes are somehow are being “disrespectful.”

  24. Katy says:

    At the Astros games, we sing “Deep in the Heart of Texas.”

    I think WV (college football) plays “Country Road, Take Me Home”

  25. Jeanne says:

    Well, Kurt, they did not ask me and I believe that kneeling is actually an act of respect for what we supposedly stand for as Americans, and a prayer that our country will live up to its beliefs.
    The people who object mostly seem to think that the path we are on is just fine, no need to clean up our messes, and are hiding their heads in the sand.

  26. Sophia Chavez says:

    Agree that we should nix the NFL. All the men in my family have either stopped watching all the games or only watch the Saints. Getting rid of the NFL would omly improve life in this country. Let the idiots go get real jobs.

  27. bkh says:

    Nice to see American freedoms in action tearing apart what is left of this nation over something stupid like a song that is supposed to be a symbol of unity and pride at a meaningless sporting event. Scrap the anthem at sporting events and also scrap the NFL. Most major professional sporting leagues are starting to run on borrowed time anyways.

  28. Name says:

    +1 for Dixie.

    Otherwise the idea will just lead to another venue for virtue signalling.

  29. EddyRick says:

    I’m not one to draw inspiration from other countries, whose cultures are the product of their own unique histories, just like the U.S. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a few things about it. In the German Bundesliga, for example, the national anthem is played once throughout the whole season – the opener. More importantly, the performance isn’t a big show.

    I think getting rid of the National Anthem from sporting events entirely might be a step too far. But I definitely believe it needs to be more low-key. It shouldn’t be these quarter-hour spectacles they’ve become. For example, instead of having a live performer, many of whom are hell-bent on making it as professional vocalists, why not playback?

  30. Howard says:

    “None of the sportswriters lauding Kaepernick’s stance have a tenth of his guts; they’d not risk their livelihoods by kneeling.” Perhaps; but in their whole lives, their “livelihoods” will not total to a tenth of what Kaepernick has already been paid. So unless he has been very stupid with his money — and although I do not like him, I see no reason to believe he is stupid — he can afford, financially, to never play football again, or indeed to never work again. Of course, he’s being paid by Nike, and I suspect he will eventually go into politics, though I doubt he ever makes it any higher than the US House of Representatives.

    As for the “local flavor”, that would amount to a celebration of the division between the home team and the visiting team. There is enough of that already. It is a bad idea.

  31. mrscracker says:

    I Don’t Matter says:

    “The poll was transparently designed to get the answer the NFL wanted, and it got it. As to how well it represented the views of “most Americans”, we’ll never know.”

    Well, most polls like that are designed to get a predetermined result. That’s how they operate. But it’s still fair to use the poll results to show that more than one individual feels standing for the National Anthem shows respect & proper etiquette.
    Nobody polled me either, but I’d agree with the majority on that issue, too.

  32. Radish says:

    Louism you are a fool. Why do you think those players owe you anything? They are where they are because of their hard work and sacrifice and their honing of their God given talents. They don’t owe you or me any sentimental overtures to militarism. If you want to salute the flag during the anthem, fine, do it. No one is stopping you.

    These players are grown men. They are paid to play a football game. If a grown man wants to sit or stand or relax etc before his shift starts, and his boss doesn’t care, how is it your business? This whole furor over this non-issue looks more like Hard Cracker Resentment than real patriotism.

    Are you upset at the television camera operators who whilst the Anthem plays aren’t themselves saluting the Flag? Why not? The cameraman is sticking his camera lens in the faces of these players so this pointless right wing narrative can duly note whose eyes mist with the swelling of patriotic sentiments to an appropriate degree and whose don’t.

  33. Howard says:

    I’m with you, Name; but Old Folks at Home is a viable alternative.

  34. Scott Smith says:

    Why I Shouldn’t Be a Sports Fan: If I were a fan it would be for the wrong reasons. I would believe that if my team beat another team it was because my team was superior to the other team. And, by extension, the fans of my team were superior to the fans of the other team. If my team won the championship, among the crowd of gleeful, euphoric fellow fans I would be shouting: “WE’RE SUPERIOR, WE’RE SUPERIOR, THANK GOD, WE’RE SUPERIOR!!” And I would joyfully embrace the thought of how many thousands of losers I was superior to. It feels good to indulge your natural lust for supremacy. Why else would I want one team to beat another so that one side would leave the stadium happy and the other sad and frustrated? After all, BOTH teams trained hard to obtain glory. But the Apostle Paul said: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Phil 2:3). Ouch! Then, there’s another reason sporting events are a problem for me: The playing/singing of the national anthem at an event where I’m present always presents me with a dilemma. My allegiance is to the kingdom of God rather than a kingdom of the world. I believe that, as an expression of collective self-worship, patriotism is idolatry. During the anthem, everyone around me stands and places their hands over their hearts, and expects me to do the same. I stand with my arms by my side, assuring myself that it’s out of respect for them, but I can’t help but wonder how much I have in common with Peter denying Christ to save his own skin. Some might ask, “But what about the veterans?” If I’m unwilling to kill my enemies because I love them, why should I want somebody else to kill them for me? (Matthew 5:43-44)

  35. Logan says:

    Kaepernick, as a gifted athlete, has had the good fortune to become extremely wealthy at a young age. It’s difficult to see him as a legitimate spokesperson and expert on oppression. His success story might never have happened if he wasn’t born here.

    His attack on the national anthem is viewed by many as an attack on the ideals of this country. More importantly, for many Americans, attacking the national anthem is by extension attacking those who have sacrificed their lives for that flag. Our country is not perfect and never will be. But, hopefully, Americans of goodwill will continue to strive to achieve those lofty ideals (remember those ones we used to learn about in our public schools.)

    Kaepernick could have used his position and wealth to work towards those ideals in a positive manner, but instead chose to make himself the center of attention. He has now become a tool of those forces who seek to divide us further, and subjugate those who fail the newfound ideological purity tests. For this, he will become even richer.

  36. Pearl says:

    The author of this article is showing he is neither American, nor conservative. I have a suggestion: how about a site named “American Conservative” scrap HIM?

  37. paradoctor says:

    American football causes brain damage. We used to be able to dismiss this fact, but like with clerical pedophilia or imperial insanity, we can ignore it no longer. It’s sad when an institution’s bills come due, but inevitable. Football will go the way of boxing.

    To me it is only fitting for a failing sport to have a absurd argument about an unsingable anthem.

  38. paradoctor says:

    If we should sing before a football game, then shouldn’t we also do jumping jacks before a rock concert? That makes just as much sense!

  39. Kurt Gayle says:

    “I Don’t Matter” said (Sept 6, 6:14 pm): “Sure. Ask a group that comprises 70% ‘NFL fans’ why they ‘watch less football now’, and give them a convenient option of ‘Players using the NFL as a stage for their political views’. Get the expected result. The poll was transparently designed to get the answer the NFL wanted, and it got it. As to how well it represented the views of ‘most Americans’, we’ll never know.”

    @ “I Don’t Matter”: The way that you characterize the poll that I cited and the way that it was conducted are inaccurate.

    The Remington Research Group poll that I cited from USA Today Sports (of “1,633 General Election voters, Margin of Error +/- 2.4%, Sept, 2017”) asked the question:

    “Q6: Do you think NFL players should stand and be respectful during the national anthem?” (“Yes: 64%, No: 24%, Unsure: 12%”)

    Another poll, the Hart Research Associates Public Opinion Strategies poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal (of “900 registered voters, Margin of Error =/- 3.27%, Aug, 2018”) asked a somewhat different question:

    “Q22: When it comes to professional football players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality in the United States, do you consider this to be an appropriate way or not an appropriate way to bring attention to these concerns?” (“Appropriate: 43%, Not appropriate: 54%, Not sure: 3%”)

  40. Kurt Gayle says:

    NFL Week 1: “The league has opted not to institute an official national anthem policy for 2018, leaving teams and players the option to address the matter internally.” (Sports Illustrated, Sept 9 2018)

    Here is a list of players and teams that protested during the national anthem:

    * Eagles vs. Falcons–Defensive end Michael Bennett was the lone player to not stand during the anthem in Thursday’s opener between the Eagles and Falcons.
    * Titans vs. Dolphins–Dolphins receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled during the anthem, while defensive ent Robert Quinn raised his fist. All Titans players stood.
    * Bills vs. Ravens–All players stood for the national anthem.
    * Giants vs. Jaguar–All players stood for the national anthem.
    * Patriots vs. Texans–All players stood for the national anthem.
    * Saints vs. Buccaneers–All players stood for the national anthem.
    * Vikings vs. 49ers–All players stood for the national anthem.
    * Colts vs. Bengals–All players stood for the national anthem.
    * Browns vs. Steelers–All players stood for the national anthem.

  41. JeffK says:

    @Kurt Gayle
    Even though it has been declared false that Sinclair Lewis said

    “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

    it never seemed so fitting.

  42. Wizard says:

    No, Louism, politics were injected into a family event when the anthem was added to games during World War II. Prior to that, it wasn’t considered necessary to open sporting events with a dose of civic religion. Frankly, this who flag worship thing strikes me as more than a little creepy. It doesn’t help that most of the loudest advocates are self-proclaimed Christians. I’m pretty sure the Bible has a few things to say about idolatry.

  43. Kurt Gayle says:

    Wizard says: “Frankly, this who flag worship thing strikes me as more than a little creepy…I’m pretty sure the Bible has a few things to say about idolatry.”

    We’re not worshiping the flag, Wizard. We’re standing for the National Anthem.

  44. Kurt Gayle says:

    @ Wizard: With respect to your interpretation of “idolatry” it is true that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t stand for the National Anthem.

  45. JJ says:

    The author is a simpering PC snowflake SJW clown… anyone want to bet he has dual citizenship… with Israel?

  46. Kurt Gayle says:

    This poll, released yesterday, seems to indicate a significant shift in public opinion. I don’t like the shift, but the shift is there:

    “Poll: Most Voters Approve of Kaepernick’s Nike Ad Campaign, Players’ Right to Protest” (Breitbart News, Sept 13, 2018)

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