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Anthem Kneelers Redux

It has not been a good week for respect for the US flag or the National Anthem.

A few weeks back in this space, I wrote about Major League Baseball players who decided to “take a stand” – actually take a knee – for whatever cause it is that they think deserves their courageous commitment by dishonoring the US flag and those who have bled and died defending it.  In that post I noted that “The practice of kneeling has become too commonplace to come as a shock to anyone.  It serves only to draw attention to the kneeler rather than the causes they support.”  Although I did not say it then, I am going to say it now. The Anthem kneelers are well-paid, coddled narcissists.

Have you ever heard of Reggie Cannon?  I had not heard of him either until he complained in a post-game press conference that fans at the Major League Soccer game in Dallas last Wednesday booed him and his Dallas teammates, the players from the other team and the officials who all knelt on the field during the playing of the National Anthem.  Fans also chanted “USA!”

When asked about his thoughts about the fan reaction to the players’ kneeling, Cannon went off

“I think it was disgusting. I think it was absolutely disgusting. You got fans booing you for people taking a stand for what they believe in and millions of other people support this cause…”

“Unfortunately, it was played during these times when we asked for the anthem not to be played. It pissed me off that you can’t even have support from your own fans in your own stadium. It’s baffling to me…”

Wait.  Did he really just say out loud that the players, who need us far more than we need them, asked that the National Anthem not be played? Thankfully, that request went unheeded.  It also appears that poor Reggie was “baffled” why the Dallas fans did not support their narcissistic display.  That, in itself, demonstrates that Cannon, and likely many other Anthem kneelers are so wrapped up in themselves that they can neither imagine nor understand that people might not agree with their political opinions.

Pssst…Reggie. The fans that were allowed to attend the game did not come there to watch you and your mates kneel on the field during what is arguably the most solemn moment at any sporting event.  They came to watch you and your mates do what you are paid to do.  They made that very clear with their reaction to your pregame display.  You are welcome to kneel if you wish.  Just do not expect people who love the USA, the flag and the National Anthem to agree with whatever cause you support or even care.  That’s right. As hard as it may be for you to understand from inside your bubble, everyone does not agree with you, Reggie.  Deal with it.

If you care, here is the full text of Cannon’s tirade which went on for two minutes.

Earlier in the week, the NFL announced that, although the National Anthem will be played, it will not allow live performances of the National Anthem in the stadium.  What is troubling is that the league may also prohibit military or police honor guards from appearing on the field.  According to a report from FrontOfficeSports, the league attributed the decision to curtail the pomp which has historically accompanied the National Anthem in its venues to an effort to limit on field access to protect players from exposure to COVID 19. Last I checked, honor guards usually consist of four persons.  To keep four people, who have likely been tested anyway, and who would most certainly be wearing a face covering, off the field seems extreme.  It appears that the league is using COVID as a pretext to whittle away at the tradition of honoring America with the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” before the game.

All of us who love this country, its flag, its National Anthem and other symbols are wondering where it goes from here.  Personally, I am baffled about how we have gone from this

to this.

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