Cancelling national anthem not an option

November 7, 2017

I have been reading various comments of the kneeling and protesting during the playing of the national anthem by the NFL. A paper featured a writer who thinks the Star Spangled Banner should be cancelled at sporting events. I come from a family that served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iran and Afghanistan. My cousin is a Marine major currently serving in Afghanistan. This is his second tour. I served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam crisis.

We served to preserve the freedom of all Americans regardless or race, color or creed. The national anthem was composed by Francis Scott Key during the bombardment of Fort McHenry. The anthem has been played at all sporting events from high school to professional sports, parades, funerals of veterans, the Olympics when Americans win an event, and many other events in our country. The NFL players have decided to protest the anthem for the inequality they feel is happening in this country. Fine, protesting is fine in the public sphere but not necessarily anywhere else as Reid Beveridge so emphatically states in his column.

These players were hired and paid to play professional football as the NFL is a private enterprise, it is not the government. You don’t see any other sports team displaying this conduct, so what is it with the NFL? Men and women in this country have served, and some have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedom, and it is our patriotic duty to honor them when our national anthem is played at any event. These overpaid prima donnas should be benched and fined for protesting. They certainly make enough money to afford that.

However, canceling the national anthem during sporting events is not an option, and is plain wrong and unpatriotic whether we are at war or not! I would invite the writer to view some of the documentaries which are available on TV, and witness the horrific conditions our men and women in uniform have suffered in war so as to never compromise the playing of our national anthem.

Ray Scott

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