The national anthem serves as a vital symbol of American unity and should therefore not become an integral part of sports games; its repeated presence just distracts from what sports is really meant to do – fostering camaraderie and having fun! Therefore, rather than intensify debate over it every time a game starts, we should reassess whether playing it at every single match before starting is actually necessary.
Bloomberg Opinion Tyler Cowen It was no accident that the first explosion of interest for our national anthem came during World War I. At a time of great patriotic devotion, people were willing to pay more for entertainment that reminded them of those who had made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation – especially baseball, where regular use of The Star-Spangled Banner before games became common practice before being adopted across other sports leagues by 1920 when its official recognition as our national anthem became law. At large stadiums with sound systems installed following wartime, and rising patriotic sentiment boosted it immensely by becoming part of regular sporting events since that anthem had become part of lifelong practices among spectators and players alike as fans eager to pay more and remember those who died fighting alongside those playing it had become entertainment offerings to remember those sacrifices remembered to honor and remember those who died playing it was becoming common practice before games started, leading up until its official recognition by 1920s by rising patriotism after World War 1.
No matter if or when the national anthem is played, there are other ways of showing our national pride before a game begins. A team could fly a flag or wear uniforms featuring national colors; an athlete could salute or applaud for their hometown’s mascot during play; these meaningful acts show our nation’s unity.
Additionally, forcing athletes to display unquestioning patriotism is not appropriate in a country that was built upon displacement of people of color. Furthermore, most places of work do not require employees to stand and salute during the national anthem before beginning work; professional sports leagues should follow this precedent.
Consider soccer matches in Europe; teams generally do not perform their national anthem before games begin; instead they usually perform another song that ensures players from various nationalities don’t feel uncomfortable while participating in matches. This should also apply to NFL games.
No doubt there should be room to debate the national anthem at sporting events, though in these polarized times we must remain above politics when discussing sports. As long as it brings pride and joy to all Americans it should not become an ever-present feature at events; then our focus can return on what matters: sport and fun!