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Stand or Kneel

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It’s the controversy that won’t go away.  Over the weekend at least 100 NFL players sat or were kneeling during the National Anthem.  The Pittsburgh Steelers remained in their locker room “removing themselves from the circumstance.”   Just why do we play the National Anthem at sporting events?  The tradition of performing the National Anthem before every baseball game began during World War II.  Today, the Anthem is performed before the beginning of all MLS, NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL games (with at least one American team playing), as well as in a pre-race ceremony portion of every NASCAR race.  Performances at particularly large events are often ended with a military flypast. So why just sports events?  Why is it not played before a concert?  Was it played before the events at Saturday Live?  Doesn’t it  make sense that in this day and age of social media, if you have a problem with a policy or social injustice use, you’ve got twitter, facebook and the like to voice it.  What if we stopped playing the National Anthem all together?  Do individual players get protest remarks sewn on their jersey?  And don’t get me started in the Tim Tebow angle.

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