Watch Out Now: The Actions Of Colin Kaepernick And Co. Have Made Kirk Herbstreit Appreciate The National Anthem EVEN MORE!
First of all, let's ignore the fact that this unnecessary, pretentious statement doesn't even come remotely close to making mention of the issue at hand. In fact, it kinda just reads like Kirk Herbstreit is in a "...but whose the MOST American?" pissing contest between himself and everyone else that thinks the National Anthem is some all encompassing ode to our military, and ONLY our military. I don't really feel like getting into the personal opinions of public figures anymore, because they are generally as simplistic and self important as the opinions of every other person (myself included) that happens to lay claim to a social media account. I would, however, like to discuss how I couldn't possibly feel any differently.
Honestly, all these peaceful protests have taught me is that - other than the times a member of the armed forces is present in uniform on the field of play - I usually mindlessly rise for the National Anthem because that's what everyone else is doing. I don't have freedom, or the sacrifices of my forefathers that made that freedom possible, on my mind. I'm not reflecting on the American experience and those that made it such a positive one for me and my predominantly white social circle. I'm really just a robot doing what I have been told to do since I needed someone to wipe my ass.
In fact, it took Colin Kaepernick making the Anthem appointment television for me to realize that I am usually grabbing something from the fridge during it. It took a bunch of athletes kneeling in defiance of oppression during the Anthem for me to realize that the location of the shortest beer line is usually what's on my mind as I am supposedly "honoring" our troops. There's not too many people that will admit that, but you can bet your sweet ass that the thoughts of the vast majority of those in stadiums across the country are about as superficial as can be as they hum along to a song they've had engrained in their memory since childhood. If that statement is even half true then maybe, just maybe we can find a better way to pay tribute to those that put their lives on the line to keep us safe?
Until Kaepernick sat and some people took the time to do a little research I had forgotten that - despite how catchy it is- the National Anthem is just an antiquated rallying cry whose third verse directly references slavery. So, ya know what? I'm still going to stand for the National Anthem, but now I do so as someone that's neither more Patriotic or more proud. I do so as someone that is more enlightened. Someone that realizes that the American Flag and the National Anthem could potentially mean 1,000 different things to a 1,000 different people, and it's not my goddamn place to get on a high horse and judge the other 999.