"Oh say can you see" and the NBA says "why yes we can!"

This morning on the KIT radio show we spent a bit of time talking about Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, decision to not play the National Anthem before Maverick's home games.   Cuban says he made the decision before the season but with no fans in the stands nobody noticed.  The word is out and social media certainly noticed and the pushback has been strong.

Initially the NBA said it would leave it up to individual franchises as to how to handle the anthem in their buildings but the league released this statement today.

“With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy.”

And just like that, Cuban said his team would in fact play the anthem tonight and going into the future.  Good call NBA.  But not everybody agrees.

A columnist for USA Today, Nancy Armour, wrote a piece called  Opinion: Mark Cuban's decision to not play national anthem before games will surely draw outrage. But it’s long overdue.

We respectfully disagree with her and we'll tell you why.  First, the link to her articlce is here.

“The National Anthem Police in this country are out of control,” Cuban said on Twitter. “If you want to complain, complain to your boss and ask why they don’t play the National Anthem every day before you start work.”

      He’s right. We don’t play The Star-Spangled Banner before concerts or movies. We don’t hear it at rec league soccer games or school plays. We don’t stand at attention and listen to it before we start our workdays."

    "Requiring the anthem to be played before sporting events, and using it as some Rorschach test for how much you love your country, is the exact kind of faux display of patriotism those authoritarian regimes excel at."

It's not a faux display.  It is a representation of patriotism, a reminder and an encouragement and what's wrong with that?  You say some use it for a hot dog or bathroom run..."go to any game, and look at the number of people who are talking, texting, taking photos or walking to their seats during the anthem....I even saw a guy vaping during the anthem once."  Disrespectful, but allowed. Use or abuse the moment as you will  -  it's your decision.  This is America after all.  But for all those who enjoy a moment of patriotic pleasure, why take that away?

There is no one size fits all when dealing with the complex and complicated country we have become in the last 250 years.  We do have long standing traditions and practices and we don't claim to be perfect.  But that doesn't mean we have to shelve everything that shows our patriotism and belief in the idea of what America has been and what we  can be, until we have achieved perfection.  Because we never will 350-million ideas of perfection.

   "Those committed to the culture wars will see Cuban’s decision as an attack against the “real” America, a betrayal of the values and traditions that “true patriots” hold near and dear, and they will register their opposition with righteous indignation".

Go ahead Nancy, mock traditions, values and patriotism.  I grow tired of this.  There are Nancys around every corner and it's sad.  Where do you go Nancy to get the sensation of the burst of pride that comes with loving your country, seeing its colors, hearing its song.  From where do your goosebumps come, the tear in the eye or the lump in the throat?  Maybe you don't get that at all.  Then that too is sad.  You want the trappings of some other country?  Go find it, but kindly leave the Red, White & Blue and the anthem alone.

   

 

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