So, in case anyone missed it, the world’s on fire right now but we seem to care more about the ability of professional football players to stand during the anthem.
While you were sleeping:
There was a mass shooting in a Tennessee church.
Puerto Rico desperately needs our aid, and it’s not getting it.
Mexico desperately trying to recover after a series of earthquakes and aftershocks.
Privileged bonehead politician Anthony Weiner Gets 21 Months for sexually propositioning a 15 year old girl.
Hindu mass killings continue in Myanmar.
But…by all means, let’s focus on a game. A game in which dudes run up and down a field in tights with a leather ball.
What do we know about the anthem? The roots of playing the anthem go back slightly further than memes and articles would lead you to believe, once modern stadiums started being built with sound systems / etc post-WWII, it became easier to play the anthem over a system instead of bringing in a huge band. At this point, the anthem became part of most major sporting events. The NFL, specifically, follows this paradigm:
Singing the national anthem before National Football League games has been ongoing for “decades,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. One aspect of this history that has spawned some confusion in recent days concerns a change made in 2009. Until that year, players in primetime games would remain inside their locker rooms while the anthem was sung, due to timing concerns for the television networks. After 2009, the players in primetime games have been on the field during the anthem, McCarthy said. But this change only affected primetime games. For all other games — typically held at 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. Eastern — players had already been stationed on the field for the national anthem. So the 2009 change simply applied to primetime games the rules that had already been in place for daytime games. Part of the confusion, McCarthy said, may be that television networks often haven’t shown the national anthem being played (source).
I 100% respect the players’ rights to protest. Not only that, I understand why they’re protesting. I also respect peoples’ rights to protest the players’ protests, but I will say this: Other than an occasional super bowl party at a friend’s house, I’ve been quietly protesting the NFL for years.
Why, you ask? Let me turn that question around: Why haven’t you?
Did you turn off the game after the NFL allowed Ray Rice to practice/play for seven entire months after he beat the holy hell out of his significant other, Janay? (source)
Did you turn off the game after the NFL allowed Lawrence Taylor to retain his hall of fame status after a guilty plea of the rape of an underage girl? Oh, and by the way, his celebrity status assured that he didn’t do a day in prison. (source)
Did you turn off the game after Michael Vick was convicted and sentenced of dog fighting? You know, allowing dogs to brutally slaughter each other for his personal entertainment? Were you not disgusted when his league punishment was a suspension for the two years he was already in prison? Explain that one to your boss and see if you’re allowed to come back to work anytime soon. (source)
Did you turn off the game after Ben Roethlisberger was accused of rape a second time and suffered a *gasp* four game suspension? (source)
The list goes on and on…I’m sure you get my point (source).
If these anthem protests are, for some strange reason, the catalyst that it takes for you to finally turn the game off, then I recommend you start paying a little more attention.
To add to that comment: What does it say about us when being unpatriotic is a more serious offense than rape?