My policy on the national anthem before a sporting event is that it is a tradition and it should be respected. Now if you’re asking if the national anthem should be mandatory in the first place at a sporting event, I will say no. However it is a tradition that we, as a nation, have started as a way to take time to thank those that have served this country and done their part to protect it. Sports, ever since the earliest of times, have always had a way of bringing all people together and has been a place to put war and hatred aside. I completely support professional athletes using their resources and influence to help change this country and the world for the better. I just feel that it should not be done during the sporting event.
According to the article, “How Patriotism and American Pro Sports Became Allied”, the national anthem was first sang at a sporting event during the first game of the World Series between the Cubs and Red Socks in 1918. They had done this because World War 1 was going on and the crowd was very silent because of this throughout the game, so during the seventh inning stretch, they had decided to all sing the Star Spangled Banner to show love and support for those fighting over seas. This is still a tradition that is done at the beginning of most, if not all, sporting events in America. As previously mentioned, sports have always had a way of bringing people together, this was a time that desperately needed it and the people were all able to gather to not only support their team but also their country.
Similar ideas to these can be traced back all the way to the time of the original Olympic Games in Greece. According to the International Olympic Academy, Greece had always done everything in their power to keep the Olympics as safe as possible. This was not a time for politics or war.
I can remember in every race I have ever run, every powerlifting meet that I have ever competed in, and game of basketball played at the park; the camaraderie between me and the other performers was great. We knew that it was not the time for feud. Sports are one of the few times that we could join together and have fun and just focus on the game and their performance. It doesn’t matter what your race is, religion, home life, or any social factors are like in a persons life. The moment you step on that field, platform, court, or anywhere sport takes place, you become equal to everybody else that is there.
There is so much that goes on with politics, war, crime, and other negatives in society. Sport is the one place that we can finally put that aside for friendly competition with one another. Sports aren’t just about winning and proving that you are superior to your opposition. It is about growing as an individual and as a team to be better than you were yesterday. It is about becoming more knowledgeable and stronger so that you can know more and do more than you ever could. It is about creating bonds with others and always having somebody there to play with. I love this country very much and I love sport with all of my heart. Sport and especially during the national anthem is not the place to discuss social injustices and negativity. I completely support athletes speaking their minds and using their influence for positive change. However this is not the place to bring negativity.
The Singing of the National Anthem, while I don’t think should be mandatory at sporting events, I do support it 100% because it, like sport, doesn’t segregate, it helps bring this country and its people together. These two occasions are the few that we have left in this country with positive energy and having a great ability to bring people together. I do not believe it should be ruined by using it as a political platform to discuss what is write and what is wrong. That is what press conferences, charities, and other outside events are for.
How Patriotism and American Pro Sport Became Allied
The Legacy of Ancient Olympic Games