Cancel This Entire Season of National Anthem Ball

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home.

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36 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    Do other countries typically play their own national anthem before games? I don’t mean international competitions… I mean their in-country equivalents of the NBA/MLB/NFL/etc.

    The more I think about it, the odder it seems.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      Canada certainly does.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      I found myself wondering “Do they play the national anthem before soccer games in Europe?”

      And… they don’t.

      Part of that makes sense because if Spain is playing Portugal, whose anthem do you play? Both of them? AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. (Though I understand that there was a problem there for a while where German fans would sing “Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alles” at the opposing teams.)

      But playing the National Anthem before a game is something that seems to only happen in the US and Canada.

      This article here talks about how the Star Spangled Banner was a huge hit during WWI at ball games and how it started getting played before a ball game on the regular right after WWII ended.

      Grandparents, man. They didn’t understand how bad they were. They thought they were good.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        See… playing it during an international competition would seem to make MORE sense.

        “Hey, we got the US playing Canada. All the Americans are going wild for their boys as their anthem plays!”

        But instead it’s… “Okay, we got Chicago vs Detroit. Both teams have players from the US, Canada, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. LET’S HERE THE ANTHEM OF THE GOOD OL’ US-OF-A!”

        Also, when an American team plays a Canadian team in a US-based league (think Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays or New York Rangers vs Montreal Canadiens), they typically DO play both country’s anthems. Hell, they might even play both even when two Canadien teams are playing (E.g., Toronto Maple Leafs vs Winnipeg Jets). I could be wrong on that last point.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          In Europe a hundred miles is a long way. In America a hundred years is a long time.

          All that to say, Europe has a long history of, shall we say, “international competition”. Playing the national anthem would do a good job of picking at old scabs rather than providing a brief moment of fun nationalist fervor.

          You know what they should do? They should play the EU Anthem.

          Joy, beautiful sparkle of the gods,
          Daughter of Elysium!

          We enter, fire-drunk,
          Heavenly one, your shrine.

          Your magic again binds
          What custom has firmly parted.

          All men become brothers
          Where your tender wing lingers.
          Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        When a Canadian baseball team plays an American one, they play both anthems. (Ours definitely suffers by comparison.)Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Schilling
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          says:

          One of the few good memories of deploying to MIssissippi for Hurricane Katrina response/relief was the Canadian combat engineers sent to the county I was working in. I had to drive past their encampment every AM on the way to our field office, and they were always there at sun up, beat a$$ red with sunburns, Saluting the Maple Leaf as the listened to both O Canada and God Save the Queen.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    We could replace singing the anthem with something else patriots do, like hunting Nancy Pelosi.Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    This is the flip side of what the kids are calling “cancel culture”, which is the enforced displays of patriotism and sometimes piety.Report

  4. Avatar LTL FTC
    Ignored
    says:

    The farther down I got in this piece, the more I wonder whether you’re tired of debating the national anthem at sporting events, or you’re just tired with people disagreeing with you. Because those are two very different things.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    If I were to make an argument for the National Anthem, it’d probably revolve around something like:

    1. Sports are a sublimation of War
    2. A common tradition before this sublimation of War reminding everybody that we’re all on the same side is a good thing
    3. A National Anthem is about as anodyne as we’re going to get.

    Now, of course, people might want to point out that THIS PARTICULAR Anthem is bad and we should instead have a different unifying ceremony prior to sublimating war.

    Okay. Sure. Whadya got?Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Why can’t each team pick their own pre-game song?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        Hrm. Put the focus on “before every game, the home team plays the chosen song of the visiting team! Well, a censored version of it, anyway. So, tonight, the LA Lakers are hosting the Utah Jazz and so we’re all going to rise and sing ‘What I Got’ by Sublime. But not the part about playing the guitar.”

        That could work. Change songs every year.

        Deal with people asking questions about whether there are any regrets for Seattle choosing their particular song five years ago now that the Marilyn Manson allegations have surfaced.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        Technically team owners own a franchise in the league. Lots of rules about how they have to operate their franchise. Failure to comply is punished, up to and including losing your franchise (some years back the owner of the then San Diego Clippers was required to sell his franchise). One of the goals of “the league office” is to ensure some uniformity of the experience. It appears that in the NBA, part of the uniformity is the Star Spangled Banner slotted into the pre-game sequence.

        The NFL used to play the Star Spangled Banner at games before the teams came out of the locker rooms and it was irregularly shown on TV. This changed when the DoD offered money and color guards if the league would play the anthem after the players were on the field, which in turn required the networks to show it.Report

  6. Avatar Pinky
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t understand the argument here. We know that people perform these civic ceremonies (the Pledge, the Anthem, et cetera) with the intention of showing respect for the country. We’ve heard people who protest during these ceremonies state that they’re showing disrespect for the country. When Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”, he wasn’t indicating displeasure with the flag, he was indicating it with the country.

    Now, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t participate in these ceremonies because they disagree with the ceremonies themselves, not with the country these ceremonies are identified with. But people who disrespectfully burn the flag aren’t angry at the flag. We have to be honest here – they’re taking ceremonial actions that all of us recognize as speech.

    It doesn’t matter how old the Pledge is. If someone put a cork in the middle of the room and said “now this represents our country”, and someone else spit on it, we’d know what they meant. You can argue that the freedom to symbolically denounce the country is one of the tenets of our national ethic, and that’s true. But the act of symbolically denouncing the country has to be seen first and foremost as a denunciation of the country, and only indirectly a praising of the rights on which the country was founded, unless the act is specified as such. I mean, doesn’t it? This is in the realm of “honest, honey, I was just giving her a breast exam”. I just checked Wikipedia for the Texas v. Johnson case, and the crowd was reported shouting “America, the red, white, and blue, we spit on you, you stand for plunder, you will go under”. That’s all flag-as-symbol.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      Gotta say, all this preening about American rights and values is strange hear coming from someone who’s been an apologist for a political party which just tried to violently overthrow the government to keep Trump in power.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        I’m fine with my record of statements about Trump. Can you respond to the position I’ve laid out on this topic? If you can, please do. If you can’t, I’d have to figure that you only care about badgering me until I apologize or leave. And that means I’ll never, ever stop commenting here. Anyway, let’s face it, if this site is too overwhelmingly conservative for you, you’re not going to be happy with any opposing commenters.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
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          says:

          Thanks for the offer, Pnky, but I’m fine with what I wrote above being my total response to your comment.Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater
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            says:

            You’re ok with not being able to discuss the topic of the thread? Yikes.

            Are you ok with leaving the impression of badgering? I wouldn’t be. I mean, it’s very hard to read your comment and believe you care about free speech. Or am I misreading you? Would you care to explain?Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      Republicans, on the other hand, love the country so much they’re ready to use violence to get control of it back. “Honest, honey, I only hit you because I care so much”.

      Report

    • Avatar Ken S in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      Doesn’t the right ever get tired of virtue-signaling?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      Displeasure =\= disrespect. But sneaky move there!

      There is no use arguing against your point because it is an unfounded one and begs too many questions to count.

      ETA: Kaep not proud of the country’s oppression of BIPOC = Kaep displeased with the nation = Kaep disrespecting the nation = Kaep spitting on the flag

      There’s no use discussing such obvious and intentional twisting of reality.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        “Displeasure =\= disrespect.”

        Remember that thing where some dude photoshopped the CNN logo into the video of Trump’s appearance on WWF, and Trump said “lol”, and this was seen as a violent act of personal aggression against journalists?Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        I try not to use the same words over and over again. It’s a habit I fall into as a programmer, repeating formulas. So I switched “disrespect” and “displeasure”. But I only did it once, and I have no problem saying that Kaepernick showed both to the flag.

        And again, Kaepernick is the one showing disrespect, by his own words. ““I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” If he said he was protesting against oppression in America, that’d be one thing, but he said he was judging the country on its oppression. We can argue about whether “disrespect” and “displeasure” are fitting terms to describe his position, but my point stands in response to Andrew’s article: that the acts aren’t merely pointed at the ceremony but at the country.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          So what, exactly, is the problem with someone expressing displeasure, or showing disrespect, to the country?

          Does that act cause you real harm in some way?Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m addressing the implication of Andrew’s statement that “not everyone has those same feelings, emotions, and connections to the symbols of our country.” That statement, followed by descriptions of the newness of various symbols, implies that the feelings toward the symbols doesn’t reflect the feelings toward the country. I acknowledge that in some cases the feelings toward the symbols are different from the feelings toward the country, but in Kaepernick’s case they aren’t.

            That doesn’t necessarily represent a problem. I’m not sure the drunken sports fans who cheer through the final lines of The Star-Spangled Banner are presenting great patriotism either. My point is merely that, in the absence of contrary evidence, we should take people’s symbolic speech at their “word”.Report

  7. Avatar Slade the Leveller
    Ignored
    says:

    Cuban should just troll Silver by showing a video of Roseanne Barr singing the anthem.Report

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