Sunday, February 6, 2011

Patriotism - A Study in Contrasts

On Saturday we attended our son's middle school basketball tournament. The tournament opened with invocation and the playing of our national anthem. The gymnasium was silent as the Star-Spangled Banner played. Players, coaches, referees, parents, all stood respectfully, hands over their hearts, facing our flag. I watched our coach, a former U.S. Marine, proudly stand at attention and salute the flag.

Contrast that with the attitude exemplified by "professional athletes" at the opening of tonight's Super Bowl® XLV. Players were looking all around. They were rocking on their feet. They talked to each other. Their hands hung at their sides or on their jersey collars. There were indeed some players who stood respectfully. But the opposite actions were not isolated incidents, the lack of respect was widespread and blatant.

United States Code, 36 U.S.C. § 301 states in part
During a rendition of the national anthem—
(1) when the flag is displayed—
(A) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;
(B) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and
(C) all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
(2) when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

The demeanor of those who refuse to show even a minimum of respect for their Country is appalling. Unfortunately these are the same people many look to with misplaced admiration.

"Super Bowl" is a registered trademark of the NFL.


  1. I was just wondering tonight why sports seems to be so associated with patriotism.

    Put your hand on your heart if you want, but if I don't want to that's my right.

    These guys are about to play the biggest game of their lives, and you expect them to grovel at the sound of a song?

    There's a little difference between a middle school basketball game and the Super Bowl.

  2. Yep, the middle schoolers respect something other than themselves.

    These guys are supposed to be PROFESSIONALS. Some have even been to the Super Bowl before. They can't take 5 minutes to show respect to the country that allows them to PLAY a game for ridiculous amounts of money?

    You don't want to put your hand over your heart? Fine. They don't want to? Fine also. But its noticed, and judgments made. At least stand still. Its only politeness. Especially when you know a camera will be on you.


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