To stand or not to stand

Peter Abraham of the Extra Bases blog over at the Globe.com commented on the fact that many baseball players are not on the field standing at attention when the national anthem is played to kick off a ball game. He wondered about this “disrespect” for the United States, and if MLB should require players to stand at attention for the anthem.

I like Pete. He is an insightful baseball writer. But he is a little off the deep end with this inquiry. Playing the national anthem before a sporting event is a bit of a strange tradition anyway. What do sports and patriotism have to do with one another? I doubt that Pete has to stand while the anthem is played in his office before he begins work. Really, what’s the difference? Just the fact that a bunch of people are gathered together? There are special occasions when the anthem is called far. I choke up when the Star Spangled Banner is played during medal ceremonies at the Olympics.

Look it is okay with me if it continues before ballgames. Most people seem to appreciate it. The national anthem is about uniting people of a nation, not alienating them from each other. And I even think that ball players on the field should stand at attention, instead of stretching or shoving another chaw in their mouths. But requiring them to be on the field? Well, that’s just crossing the line into fascism and that’s not a line we should get anywhere near.

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