Kaepernickdid not bring Politics into Sports
Therelationship between politics and sports is like that of water andoil. They do not mix nor do they move together. By playing thenational anthem during competitive sports, the element of politicscomes in, and it may result in adverse and unnecessary aggressionbetween players. By playing the US national anthem in the NFL games,the result was an aggression against the government that is viewed asbeing biased. As per Kaepernick, the national anthem, and the flagmade him resent the country as he observed that it is oppressive tothe people of African American descent.
Byplaying the national anthem in games involving competitive teams fromthe same country, it makes no sense since each is patriotic bychoosing to represent a country in his homeland rather than choosingto play outside the country. Such gestures are also not fair to thoseplayers from foreign countries who play their trade in the US. Manycitizens may seem not to be sensitive to such an issue since theyseem to be comfortable with the idea of the national imagery of theircountry. However, these patriotic symbols often bring out an image ofwhat patriotism means to all viewers and listeners. Differentindividuals can interpret the symbols in a variety of ways atdifferent times [CITATION Vox16 p 94 l 1033 ].
Sportsare meant to bring people together, and as such, by playing thenational anthems, it brings rivalry based on political ideologiesrather than a mere sportsman competitive nature. Politics shouldnever be allowed to interfere with competitive sports whose focus isto determine the best athlete rather than a politically motivatedsupport. Racism has always been reflected in most sportingactivities, and by playing the national anthem amongst players of adifferent race, the conflict often explodes. This is becauseindividuals see such performance ignores the national problemconcerning it. As such by playing the national anthem to people whofeel ignored and exploited by their country makes it look like thevice has been accepted as part and parcel of our daily lives. Itshows non-commitment to changing the evil. The only aspect that canbe used to enable acceptance, integration and bringing the end tosuch practice is by engaging in professional sports [CITATION The16 p 14 l 1033 ].
Sincesports is an integral element in our current society as shown by thevarious supporter bases for different sports clubs, the mainchallenge is its popularity which entails that most citizens if notall are always in the stadiums cheering or tuned to their televisionwatching the proceedings. Sports are means of social integrationamong the citizens and should not be used as a means of transferringpolitical ideologies with the aim of drawing the political reactionfrom the audience. Therefore, when playing the national anthem duringthe match, it draws different reactions from different mindedcitizens hence creating some political tension between the supporterssince no action involved would as such go unobserved. Any incident ofdiscrimination, favoritism or racism against any player will make bignews and will be seen by all citizens creating a more politicallytensioned country [CITATION Smi13 p 1 l 1033 ].
Theoutburst by Kaepernick was mainly due to the witnessed discriminationthat had been observed in the league. Both on and off the field,discrimination was rife as evidenced by the number of minoritycoaches in the discipline. The discrimination based on race toindividuals who wanted to participate in the NFL grew so high thatrules were developed to allow such people to get involved. The RooneyRule, however, was a step backward as it meant that the only way toensure for inclusiveness, rules had to be created. Such affirmativeaction poorly reflected the society, and by playing the nationalanthem, it will not draw a patriotism but creates further hatredbetween the citizens of who are viewed as the oppressed and thoseseen as the oppressors [CITATION Vox16 p 28 l 1033 ].
Mostsports supporters often look forward to sports as a way to forget thepolitics of the land since it is a voluntary association and activitythat if not interfered with, will create a connection betweenindividuals from different political sides. Playing the nationalanthem politicizes the game hence causing disunity among fans.Matters of politics are so robust and big as compared to sports thus,it is not reasonable and acceptable to play national anthems duringprofessional games. The National Anthem should be explicitly left tomatters regarding celebrating the military progress, and it shouldnot have a place in sports events. There is no reason for cheeringfans to show their loyalty and devotion on their citizenship whenwatching entertainment events [CITATION Smi13 p 85 l 1033 ].
Playingof the national anthem was mostly used to draw patriotism during theera of the world wars where it served as a means of motivatingcitizens who would gather during particular games. The nationalanthem was played before the start of the game to remind thespectators that the government wanted their support. While factoringnational representation in sports, the impact of the national anthemhas diminished due to the gains already achieved, and focus should bedirected to matters of national concern such as discriminations.However, since the era of the world wars is gone, there is no need tocontinue such practice given the injustices existing in the society.The anthem by being repeatedly played, it loses the sense of prideand the patriotism impact it used to draw. Therefore, it is bettersuited that such use of the national anthem should be reserved formatters of national importance such as the Olympic Games,international sports matches involving various countries or meetingsinvolving officials of different countries [CITATION Vox16 p 43 l 1033 ].
Inprofessional sports, patriotism does not always reflect the truepatriotism it is just but a source of entertainment that is intendedto make people feel good. Sports should be all about enjoyment ratherthan a way of drawing people to a particular professional opinion.Thus, playing of a national anthem is not a way to show respect tothe country. Instead, it creates a division between citizens who aremeant to be fans of the sport as they have different politicalopinions and has the potential of creating a rift between them and asa result, the sport will in the long term be ignored due to itspolitical nature. Furthermore, the national anthem should not be usedto make money but should be used to create patriotism, and this canbe achieved by stopping the playing of the national anthem duringprofessional games as practiced by European professional championshiptournaments that involve teams from different countries [CITATION Smi13 p 74 l 1033 ].
Smithsonian. smithsonianmag.com/. 17 February 2013. 17 October 2016. <http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/how-politics-has-changed-modern-day-sports-9945631/?no-ist>.
The Washington. A brief history of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ being played at games and getting no respect. n.d. 17 October 2016. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/30/a-brief-history-of-the-star-spangled-banner-being-played-at-games-and-getting-no-respect/>.
Vox. Kaepernick didn’t bring politics into sports. The NFL did that by playing the anthem. 3 September 2016. 17 October 2016. <http://www.vox.com/2016/9/3/12774172/colin-kaepernick-national-anthem-why>.