The Ravens National Anthem Singer (A Black Veteran) Has Officially Resigned Due To The Cultural Climate At NFL Games
There are two things to discuss here. The decision to quit singing the National Anthem for the Baltimore Ravens, and the manner in which Joey Odoms chose to do it. Since the former is more interesting than the latter we'll start from the back and work our way on up.
I don't want the following to come as a slight against a veteran. I mean it will, because apparently those who have fought for our freedoms have been reduced to pawns in an overly emotional game of multi-cultural chess, but I don't want it to. Regardless, the decision to make his resignation "official" by way of social media is insanely counterproductive move if what he was really trying to do was quietly remove himself from the newfound contentiousness of an NFL stadium. Like, he might as was have followed "and the home of the braaaaave!" with "I'm black and proud to have served this country, but fuck this shit...I'm outtie", because he basically cut the music only to declare (perceived) neutrality. Just seems like a super weird thing to do as someone who prioritized dismissing himself from the conversation altogether. I think even he would agree since he's since deleted the post.
More importantly, I can totally sympathize with his decision to walk away. An African American who served overseas? Jesus Christ, this poor bastard might as well have been Larry David in the Palestinian chicken episode...
I don't know how we got to a place where yearning for the equal rights of minorities and respecting the efforts of those who put their lives on the line in the name of those rights became an 'either/or' situation, but it sure as shit feels like that's the moronic crossroads that we've reached. Meanwhile, Joey Odoms was standing in the middle of the intersection innocently (and fruitlessly) trying to bring everyone together by way of song while both sides were too busy arguing over the "proper" way to acknowledge said song.
Analogously speaking, all he wanted to do was eat some delicious chicken, fuck a super hot anti-semite, and not end up renounced by the entirety of the Jewish faith. Now his talented vocal cords are forced to go to waste on the bench because he didn't want to pick between two of his favorite "teams". As much as I think he would have ultimately benefitted from not giving someone like me the opportunity to discuss it, I pity him for being placed in the middle of culture war as the proverbial bipartisan bell ringer that was probably being viewed as if his recruitment were still open .