As if Americans aren’t having a hard enough time understanding each other lately, here comes Yahoo! Sports blogger Dan Wetzel to stir the pot.
The blogger, who normally gets a few hundred comments on his below average posts, dropped a bombshell opinion piece Monday evening titled “Never Mind Colin Kaepernick, Why Is The National Anthem Played At Sporting Events In The First Place?”
Are you kidding me, Wetzel?
The post, which hasn’t even been up for 24 hours, has received well over 5,000 comments.
Is he fishing for attention and notoriety? Or does he really, as a red-blooded American sports fan, believe sports teams should stop playing the national anthem at games?
How many of them [players] are standing only out of societal pressure? In some stadiums they sing along. In others, recording artists get to use the moment in an effort to market and promote themselves. In others, the crowd playfully highlights certain words — “ohh” they shout at “O say does that Star-Spangled Banner,” or they yell “red” if that corresponds with team colors.
No one plays more than the first verse (there are four in the original song), probably because the public can’t even hold it together for one.
This is hardly the solemn tribute to the military some claim.
How is this a justification to stop playing the Anthem? Are you that insulted by American capitalism that you can’t stand watching Carrie Underwood “promote” herself by belting out one of the most sacred and symbolic songs the world has ever heard? Is a gorgeous, successful woman celebrating our country’s heritage that reminiscent of nails on a chalkboard to you?
Not to mention, Kaepernick, Marshawn Lynch and Michael Bennett are the minority in the NFL. They belong to a group of about a dozen players who don’t stand during the anthem. Everybody else stands. Last time I checked, America was a democracy, and in a democracy, the majority wins. There are about 2,000 players in the NFL. Only a dozen choose to not participate. It’s simple math.
And Wetzel, are you really standing behind a guy like Michael Bennett, who defended his action with this statement:
First of all, I want people to understand that I love the military,” Bennett said. “My father’s in the military. I love hot dogs like any other American. I love football like any other American. But I don’t love segregation. I don’t love riots or oppression.
The guy is equating his love for this country with his love for hot dogs.
Now this may be speculation, but I’m fairly certain that the 7,000 soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 16 years aren’t fighting for Bennett’s love of hot dogs.
They’re fighting to protect his right to wake up healthy and safe every day and play a sport he loves. They’re protecting his family. And sadly, they’re protecting his three-year, $30,000,000 contract with the Seahawks.
So to all you halfwits out there calling to appease whiny NFL players by scratching the national anthem, I hope each and every one of you is prepared to explain yourselves to disabled vets and families of fallen soldiers.
Go on. Explain why it is that these soldiers have laid down their lives to defend you, but you can’t seem to find it in you to defend the song of freedom. I’ll gladly book each of you a one-way ticket to Baghdad so you can explain it in person.
As a bonus I’ll even load your Spotify with a loop of this very special performance by Roseanne.